If a classroom were a puzzle, the students in it would be its pieces. Each piece would have its own shape, or learning style; its own size, or level of readiness. Teachers are trying to reach every student in an effective way with a finite amount of resources. More educators are looking to differentiated instruction and inclusiveness to help them achieve these goals. New technology, like the PENpal Audio Recorder Pen
, along with interactive bilingual literacy sets
, are helping teachers customize content specifically to their students’ needs.
What is Differentiated Instruction?
The concept of differentiated instruction has its roots
in old-fashioned, one-room schoolhouses, where students of all ages were taught in a single classroom. Individualized, guided support and instructions are provided to children with different ability levels. Differentiated instruction can help teachers:
- meet rigorous standards
- focus on essential skills in different content areas
- incorporate assessment into instruction
- provide students with multiple avenues to learning
- respond to individual student needs
What is Inclusion?
Inclusion means that all learners have access to learning
, so there are no barriers due to inequality, inferiority or discrimination. It promotes a sense of belonging
on the part of each student in the classroom. Inclusion means that everyone is accepted, despite their differences.
Using Technology to Promote Differentiated Instruction and Inclusiveness
Teachers must cover a wide range of subjects in a short amount of time, so they can’t afford to teach content at a slower pace. The use of appropriate technology
can simultaneously provide support to students who need scaffolding, and enrichment to students in need of extra challenges. The result: students who are more engaged in the classroom.
Bilingual literacy sets
, available in many languages, along with the PENpal Audio Recorder Pen
, can help teachers develop and assess oral language development, build fluency and improve phonemic awareness, and support parental involvement. Teachers can customize content specifically to their students’ needs with both English and home-language resources. For example, a classroom with Spanish and Russian speaking students could include English-Spanish Audio Books
and English-Russian Audio Books
that students can use with the PENpal, either in class or at home.
PENpal resources can help teachers achieve differentiated instruction and inclusiveness in their classrooms in many ways:
- Provide step-by-step instructions for Learning Centers.
- Students record the telling of a story, add sound effects, narrate a character’s thoughts or imagined conversation between characters.
- Provide narration in different languages and record support for homework.
- Record messages or questions for parents, who can record their responses in English or their home language.
- Use the PENpal as a multi-sensory spelling tool by having students record the word they are spelling, and the phonemes or graphemes that make up the word.
- Use as an assessment tool by keeping all recordings as evidence of a student’s progress.
- Narrate storyboards in preparation for storytelling/story writing/drama exercises. Record dialogue between characters and document additional information, such as length of scene, props, or characters.
- Create interactive wall displays.
- Audio-enhance flashcards.
Don’t forget to check out our comprehensive and informative collection of videos for even more ideas on how the PENpal can foster English language learner (ELL) language development in the classroom and at home.
“Niños de Tilcara saliendo del cole” by (M) via Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/2SqBe3