While many teachers are currently enjoying some time off, before the new school year starts they may want to do some thinking about how they are going to create a nurturing and enriching classroom environment for a new group of students. They may find useful the post on the Think Inclusive website outlining five strategies for structuring an inclusive classroom environment.
A multi-sensory approach to education benefits all students. When exposed to new material, learners may prefer listening or reading. Writing may help some memorize material, while others benefit more from saying information out loud. Touch, taste, and smell can also be brought into the classroom.
Another strategy involves individualizing expectations, which requires internalizing and accepting that this is not unfair, but promotes equity. Doing what is fair doesn’t mean doing the same thing for everyone. Having different expectations for different students helps everyone get what they need. Using stations can also help students learn and practice at their own paces. Stations can be structured in many different ways depending on the learning objectives and resources available.
Establishing rules and expectations quickly helps a classroom run smoothly. When students understand expectations and are inspired to pay attention, learning happens more readily. Still, it is also important to be flexible. When a teacher recognizes that something isn’t working, she or he should be willing and able to change tactics. Teachers should also be able to go with the flow and adapt to student needs and interests rather than always sticking to a prescribed plan.
To read the full article, click here, and consider adding your own comments about strategies that you have found successful in the classroom.