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Approaches to Teaching

            The multi-cultural student population in an international school provides a colourful background of various cultures and ethnicities. It is the responsibility of educators to provide a classroom that caters to the individual needs of its many students. To successfully do this, educators need to consider the different learning styles, strengths and needs of each student. During the observation of a prep class, the homeroom teacher used various strategies to accommodate the students. Differentiation is achieved through the use of assessments, and through these assessments the teacher is able to construct a profile of each student's ability. These learner profiles are then used to inform the teacher of how a lesson is to be taught and what appropriate strategies are needed. To facilitate differentiation in the class, the homeroom teacher's most noticeable effective strategies were her use assessments to inform of her lesson planning, teacher led groups and scaffolding.
             Assessments are integral in teaching a mixed-ability classroom. In the primary years, there are a wide range of abilities to address. Assessments inform teachers of how to better plan their lessons in the class. In the beginning of each unit, pre assessment strategies and observations serve as a means to gather information about the students in the class. The information gathered is used to construct a learner profile of each student. The learner profiles provide a database of information for the teacher to use in identifiying the appropriate strategies to strategically cater the lesson to an individual learner. It is important that the teacher analyzes the data and interprets it accordingly. Too often teachers jump into conclusion on how to teach a class for the sake of moving the lesson along quickly. (Chapman & King, 2005) Students that are performing below or above a teacher's expectation should be recognized during pre and formative assessment.

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