As a teacher with many students, it’s hard to get them all on the same page when it comes to a lesson or a subject topic. Every student has a different capacity to learn, or might have entered the classroom with different background knowledge levels, interests, and abilities. That’s where differentiated learning and a group-by-color system steps in: by providing a system that groups students based on their learning levels and abilities, you as a teacher can address their issues easier. So how can you meld differentiated learning with audio technology? Here are five ways how color coded headphone systems work with differentiated learning.
1. You can tailor each student’s particular needs by headphone color. Some students might benefit from a shorter lesson than all the others, or an audio lesson that is slower and therefore easier to understand. You can easily tailor those students’ needs by identifying and changing their assignments or audio lessons so they can learn with others at their own pace. Color-coding will allow you to quickly identify the content of your student’s specially-designed materials before, during, and after class time.
2. You can differentiate between different types of work to assign to students. You might use the color-coding system to help tailor your goals and questions particular students. In addition, you might set up different goals for each student group by color: for example, “green” headphone students might easily grasp content after one or two listens of a text, therefore might be able to answer tougher questions. Red headphone students might be better at explaining the “big picture,” therefore, will excel at being asked questions on the general idea. By tailoring your questions, you can help boost the self-esteem of various students, while also giving them challenges.
3. You can still place students of various levels in the same group, while keeping track of their abilities. Sometimes, you will want to have your students learn together outside of their color-coded groups, for various reasons. But by retaining their headphone colors, you can still differentiate among each student’s strengths and weaknesses without acknowledging difference obviously. Because children can quickly learn why they might be in the “red” group versus the “green” group, color coding can lead to anxiety or jealously. But a color-coded system of headphones can allow students to intermix, especially if the goal is to have students learn from each other and help each other through problems. You will still be able to differentiate among students and particular needs as well, even when in a mixed-color group.
4. Make in-class and homework assignments easier (or more challenging) for students. Color-coded headphones not only help with managing the classroom, but they can also help with organizing work for students at home. You can easily pair off students based on their headphone colors (and therefore similar audio classwork), or you can make sure students are paired to help others in different color groups.
5. Help students manage their work places better. While not a differentiated learning process based on content, a color coded system can help students learn other important things, such as organization and clean up. You can also have competitions among groups for best clean up times or consistently great organization. An example can be a treat for those who properly place their headphones away, or wrap their cords properly. The positive reinforcement of these traits are definitely things they can take out of the classroom and into their homes or future work places.
Many teachers might be worried that a differentiated system is more work and trouble that it’s worth, but many classrooms and students have benefited from the tailored segmentation to learn more about how you can make your audio technology work for you, contact us.