There are several factors in knowing how students learn their best. We believe that the underlying piece in providing an appropriate education for each and every child is to simply understand that not all students are alike. To reach this goal of providing the best education to ALL students we teach using differentiated instruction, which means providing adequate steps for a lesson to be diverse, use various teaching methods, and take into account the importance of a sufficient learning environment.
We believe that students learn best in an environment where differentiated instruction is used, so that each student has multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas. To differentiate instruction is to recognize students varying background knowledge, readiness, language, preferences in learning, interests, and to react responsively. The Homestead implements a flexible approach to teaching and we are able to adjust curriculum and its distribution. In order to vary instructional approaches, we observe the three different learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) and understand which style best fits each student with various levels of support and complexity. In order to provide quality instruction there are several steps. They are:
- Review from previous lessons/days.
- Provide some background knowledge of the upcoming lesson.
- Present students with the “target” or the goal before beginning of the lesson.
- Allow time for various interactions among students, such as a think-pair-share or group/partner work.
- Give students plenty of think time.
- Debrief at the end of the lesson, as this allows students to express what and how they learned, which provides the teacher feedback on how to best present the next lesson