Mixed-ability classes are classes that are made up of students of differing levels of proficiency.
In schools, most classes are mixed in some way or another. Different students respond to various teaching methods differently and it is how you adapt teaching to include all these varying learning capabilities that’s most important to keeping them on target.
To help you with this, we’ve put together a few pointers for you to use in your multi-ability classroom.
1. Group Different Ability Students Together
Sometimes it’s a good idea to put different ability students together in groups. All the students will collaborate and learn from the experience because they can help each other by working together to complete tasks.
2. Use a Variety of Learning Methods
With different students comes different learning styles. To make sure you’re addressing all of these, you could look to use different activities in lessons and use a mix of teacher-led instruction and hands-on activities.
3. Check Your Students’ Understanding Regularly
It’s a good idea to make sure you monitor students’ progress and see where they’re at, who’s understood everything and who needs help. Perhaps you could take the time after school or during lunch to offer help to those who are struggling.
Also, to help with understanding, have time for reflection during the lesson so students can process their thoughts.
4. Reinforce Learning at Home
Make sure learning continues at home to reinforce it away from the classroom. With EducationCity’s Home Access, you can set homework easily and give your students access to an educational resource anytime, anywhere.
5. Speak with Teaching Assistants
Have a chat with your Teaching Assistants about how you can help support students together. Perhaps in certain lessons, one of you can support those who are weaker on a topic and the other can make sure stronger students are challenged enough.
6. Set Open-Ended Projects
Maximise creativity by setting open-ended projects and tasks. When students work independently and manage their own learning process, they can go at their own pace and in turn, differentiation happens on its own.
7. Provide Individualised Feedback
By providing individualised feedback, your students can improve. You can provide this with EducationCity by using the personalised work plans via MyRevision which are automatically generated after students take a Test. We also have MySuccess, which lets students view their own Activity and Test scores and improve in any areas they are weaker in.
8. Adapt Your Classroom Culture
To have real success in a multi-ability classroom, you need to adapt the classroom culture. This doesn’t just mean physically, with the right areas and seating plans, but also the mind-set too. Aim to gain a mind-set where all students support each other and help their peers.