INTASC Standard #3

Adapting Instruction for Individual Needs

The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.

[Headings for INTASC standards are taken from - Campbell, D.M. et al.  (1997).  How to develop a professional portfolio:  A manual for teachers.  Boston: Allyn and Bacon.]

Throughout my schooling, I have always heard teachers talk about different learning styles. Visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and the other “multiple intelligences” were mentioned. I always had a decent understanding of what they were, but now they have become truly important and useful to me as an aspiring teacher.

Students process information differently. I believe very few students are incapable of learning in one way or another. However, everyone is different and has different strengths. Some students learn things as soon as they see them; others need to write them down before they will learn them. Still others must apply the information to a different situation or to a problem before they understand it. To make an example from this kind of thinking, more specifically from the music classroom, some students are naturally better at rhythm. Some have the ability to match pitches with their voices; others may be able to do both.

In order to be an effective teacher, I should distinguish, individually, how my students learn best and tailor my instruction to meet their needs. Presenting information in only one manner will not suffice; I must present it in multiple ways and using multiple techniques to increase understanding across the class. For example, when teaching a song in a general music classroom, I might want to have some of the class play it on bells, have some sing, and have others play rhythm instruments. Finally, if a student is struggling, I can talk to him to find out how he might be able to learn better. Then I will know how I can modify my teaching strategies to be more effective to more students.

The following artifacts demonstrate two aspects of my growth in this area. First, the microteaching demonstrates my ability to teach an age-appropriate lesson. Second, the exceptionalities handout (with my commentary) shows some of what I have learned about exceptional students and how to deal with them. These are both very important aspects of teaching.

Microteaching 1 from MusEd 150

Exceptionalities Handout with Commentary from MusEd 351

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