Implementing Differentiated Learning In The Classroom

It's common knowledge, not all humans are born equal. Our diversity from one human to another is the reason why we are all so unique. Sadly, the modern day classroom often struggles to cater to the diverse needs that students have. This is in no way the teachers fault. Being a teacher these days is as hard as packing up your work bag, while juggling apples made out of Jell-O, while trying to defy the law of gravity. Actually come to think of it, it's even harder than that sometimes. 

So what is the key to allowing students to learn in a differentiated style? 

The problem is the key is hidden within the resources you as a teacher choose to use. Creating these yourself is not only a tedious task, but it is often overwhelming trying to figure out how you can adjust one main resource to allow for different needs in learning. 

My current goal with my store is to try and adjust as many resources as I can that are on offer to allow for differentiated learning. I am also on a mission to make my resources as real-world relevant and as fun as possible. This is why all of my country studies and continent studies now include 4 different versions (blank no text, original, lines no text, and no images) to allow for differentiated learning. They also include fun boarding passes and postcards that will even get you, as the teacher, excited to "travel" around the world from the comfort of your own classroom. 


If you want to implement differentiated learning in your classroom while being on a budget, then check out the following ideas:

·      Assign “experts” to take a leadership role and assist others with their learning (extends very capable learners).
·      Get the students to create their own questions or worksheets that replicate a resource you are using in class. This flip-side approach really gets them thinking (extends capable and very capable learners).
·      Hold small group sessions to discuss what the learning task at hand is (helps struggling learners feel more confident with the learning material).

Five Fun Ways To Teach Kids About China

Launching into a study on China can be very daunting for many teachers. The place, the people, the culture, the history, and the economy of China can be a lot to wrap your head around, let alone teach others. Here are five fun ways to teach your students about the beautiful land of China.

One: set up your classroom as though it was China itself. 

This sounds like a lot of effort, but it can be successfully done with minimal effort. Think splashes of red (this color is very symbolic to the people of China) everywhere with pictures of Chinese cities displayed around the room. To get a really authentic experience, seek help from your local community. If you have a parent who identifies with the Chinese culture, get them to come in and tell the class what living in China is like. Or better yet, get them to talk about how attending a school in China is different to attending your school. 

Two: go for the basics with little learners. 

If you want to teach very little kids (lower elementary) about China then go for the approach of teaching them the basics: what the flag looks like, what the country looks like geographically, along with some fun facts that the children are bound to leap home to share with their families. This can be done through sourcing flags, maps, and facts online.

If you want a no prep way of doing this that saves you time, then check out my 
China Country Study | Cultural Booklet of Fun Facts.

Three: act it out 

Get your students to act out what a typical day in the life of someone living in China could consist of. What time do they wake up? How much do they enjoy their jobs? What do they do as a hobby? To add some complexity to this, (for older learners) get your students to pick what life they would want to live if they were in China (rural living, city living, what job?) and then to act this out as a group.

Four: get your students involved in a research project 

If you are wanting to do an in-depth look into the country of China with big kids (upper elementary) then there is nothing better than getting your students to engage in authentic research. Using the internet to gather and analyze information is an essential skill for today's youth. The best way to do this is to put together a bunch of questions or prompts that you want answered/ researched by your students.

Want to save time doing this? Check out my China Country Study | Research Booklet for Big Kids. It includes 20 research pages on the place, the people, the culture, the history, and the economy of China. It also includes some teacher cheat sheets and an end of unit travel brochure.

Five: set up a Chinese themed classroom shop

For a fun hands on learning experience around China, set up a Chinese themed classroom shop. Get the students to look into what traditional Chinese food items are eaten in China, then get them to make them. Use recyclable materials for this (plastics, cardboard etc.) to add an element of sustainable learning. Your students will absolutely love doing this! For older kids, make sure you incorporate Chinese currency into the mix. You could also look into how much money a grocery store worker would get paid in China and compare this to the going rate in your local area.

I hope you and your students have an awesome time learning about China! Feel free to share in a comment below any ideas you have for teaching children about the country of China.