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There are many ways that teachers can modify lessons and activities to meet the needs of diverse learners. Here are some of our most tried and true strategies.

Pre-teach difficult vocabulary and concepts

Introduce particularly difficult vocabulary words or concepts prior to the lesson. A word web is an excellent way to begin because it uses background knowledge as a foundation.

Provide study guides/worksheets

Visuals are especially helpful to exceptional learners because it allows them to “chunk” information into smaller, more easily digestible pieces.

Have the student take notes (or provide the notes) and use colored markers to highlight

Visual notes are helpful because it allows for the opportunity to re-read and highlight important information.

Provide written as well as oral directions

Students learn in a variety of ways. Providing directions both orally and in writing will help students stay on track.

For students who struggle with spelling: Avoid penalizing for spelling errors

There are many ways to assess a student’s writing. Penalizing for spelling errors is not always necessary.

For students who struggle with legible writing: Use graph paper to help space letters and numbers

Graph paper provides clear parameters in which to write a letter or number, greatly improving legibility.

For students who struggle to create written assignments: Use story starters

Story starters are a great asset because it provides a jumping off point, as well as guidance.

For students who struggle with reading: Provide questions before student reads a selection

Providing pre-reading questions helps the student to anticipate what they will read, which increases comprehension.

For students who struggle with verbal expression: Provide a prompt

When a student must speak to a group, providing a prompt will help them plan for and guide their speaking.

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