So what do you really need to know about adapting instruction?
Adapting instruction, is basically a differentiation strategy you use to effectively engage your students. Sometimes the way we planned a particular activity or task is not always successful because it does not always allow ALL students to access or demonstrate their learning. When this happens, we need to ask ourselves WHY this happened (i.e. the task was too challenging, students did not have the background vocabulary, they were too tired) and WHAT you can already change in tomorrow’s lesson plan.
This is where accommodations can help you become a better teacher by getting into the habit of making changes in terms of HOW a student accesses or demonstrates learning. This does not mean substantially changing your instructional level, content or performance level.
What this does mean is doing small and important things in your lessons like increasing the number of questions. Other times, you may have to rethink the content of what you are teaching. All it takes is a little bit more restructuring and rethinking so you have a higher change of engaging your students. So here are 10 types of accommodations that you can start to use in your lessons right away:
1. Size – Adapt the number of items the learner is expected to learn or complete. Adapt the size of information by increasing the number.
2. Input – Adapt the way we deliver instruction to the learner.
3. Participation – Adapt the extent to which a learner is actively involved in the task.
4. Time – Adapt the time allotted for learning, task completion or testing.
5. Level of support – increase the amount of assistance for a specific learner.
6. Difficulty – Adapt the skill level, problem type, or the rules on how the learner may approach the work.
7. Output – Adapt how the learner can respond to instruction.
8. Participation – Adapt the extent to which a learner is actively involved in the task.
9. Alternate Goals – Adapt the goals or outcome expectations while using the same basic materials.
10. Don’t forget the learning styles!
Adapted from the Center for School and Community Integration for the Study of Developmental Disabilities, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
Remember, the ideal method of adapting instruction is to accommodate the chld’s learning needs. Be electic and reduce the density of the material and you’ll soon be on your way to success!