What is individualized instruction? - post

What is individualized instruction?

image in article What is individualized instruction?When teachers create individual plans for children, they modify learning experiences to meet the developmental needs of each child and they are responsive to each child's interests, strengths, and needs. Teachers reflect on their observations of each child and then plan the most effective ways to support them. When learning experiences are tailored to children's interests, they are more engaging and meaningful to children. Because children vary in their development, it is also important that the curriculum supports each child where they are currently and is easily adjusted to allow for growth.

When children have their individual needs met they are able to develop at their own pace and in a way that is appropriate for their age, ability, needs, and development.

When we talk about teaching to meet individual needs the term differentiated instruction comes to mind. When we differentiate lessons and activities we are modifying and adapting them so that each child is successful and can gain knowledge from the content. Teachers can engage the entire class by providing visuals, telling stories, and offering hands-on activities that explore the curriculum. Intentional planning beforehand can make this effortless and engaging. 

Lesson plans should include a balance of teacher-directed and child-directed activities as well as small-group, large-group, and one-on-one interactions.

Educators observe children in order to determine what their individual needs are. Through observations, educators ask questions such as:

  • What skills has this child mastered in....?
    • Communication or language?
    • Cognition?
    • Motor development?
    • Social skills?
    • Emotional development/self-regulation?
  • What skills or activities appear to lead to frustration or challenge?
  • What interactions, objects, or activities engage their attention?

Individual plans will include areas that each child needs support in and skills they have not yet mastered. When educators use these individual plans, they create small groups or work individually with children to model, scaffold, and support skill development. These individual plans should include any cultural considerations, learning styles, interests, preferred caregivers, and any other child-specific information. 

Individual planning also takes into account children who are dual language learners and those children who have disabilities. Each child in care will have different needs and it is the provider's role to identify those needs and support each child.

Looking for more information about individualized instruction? H&H Child Care Training Center offers many courses that provide strategies for individualizing learning for children to meet all needs. Check out the courses below or browse our entire catalog. 

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