Managing Diversity in the Classroom

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Managing Diversity in the Classroom

Introduction
In a regular classroom, there is a wide range of diversity of students. They are different in gender, culture, social class and learning ability. Some students may have learning difficulty or disability. When they receive education in school, it is necessary to adopt special education strategies. In this essay, I am going to suggest some educational skills and strategies for managing and teaching students with dyslexia in Mathematics lessons.

Dyslexia
Dyslexia is a common type of specific learning difficulty. For Chinese speakers in Hong Kong, there is around 10% of the population who has dyslexia. Students with dyslexia may have disorders in language, memory or thinking. They may be intelligent and do well in other areas but have difficulties in reading, spelling or writing abilities. Those students may have learning problems in identifying words, understanding directions, presenting work, managing themselves, and reading passages. Dyslexic students have different levels of difficulties in different stages. For example, when they are in primary schools, they may have difficulties in identifying words or characters in similar shape. While in secondary schools, they may have difficulties in reading comprehension. Because of their learning difficulty, they would easily be frustrated and feel anxious if they cannot meet their or their parents’ expectations. As a result, they tend to have low self-esteem which creates other emotional problems.

Classroom Accommodation
There are various ways to help students with dyslexia in their leaning. In this part, I am going to suggest some of the ways that can be used to manage and teach them in classroom.

One of the weaknesses of students with dyslexia is processing information slowly. Therefore, they are usually frustrated in lessons as they find difficulty in keeping pace with the lesson. In order to help them, it is necessary to develop a routine which can help them to follow in class. Students with learning disabilities are keen on respond well to a rapid pace of instruction with much variety and many opportunities to participate and respond successfully (Bauer & Shea, 1999). So teachers can encourage those students to be actively involved and express their ideas in class as to get their interests in learning.

For the seat arrangement, the teacher can arrange the dyslexic students sit near to the teacher’s desk. It aims to provide opportunities for the teacher to monitor the students’ responses and see whether they can follow the instructions or tasks in lesson. The teacher can also reinforce students’ behavior easily by this sitting arrangement. Besides, dyslexic students should sit straight in front of the board but not at an angle in the classroom (Ott, 2007). It is due to their poor visual memory and thus having difficulty in copying accurately. Therefore, it is vital for them to have a clear view to the board in lesson time. Furthermore, the teacher has to ensure the writing in board is clearly enough as to reduce their copying mistakes.

Dyslexic students have poor working memory skills (Ott, 2007). During the lesson, the teacher has to speak and present in a concise and clear way. Before any tasks start, the teacher has to ensure those pupils understand what they need to do. The teacher can repeat or rephrases the instructions or information given to strengthen their memory. Moreover, the teacher should also try to keep instructions simple and short to maintain a good pace in lesson. All of the approaches aim to ensure the children can follow the lesson in a proper way.

Applying multi-sensory teaching is also a way to help those pupils. It is different from the traditional teaching approach. As the dyslexic children have visual and memory problems, it is difficult for them to catch up with the tasks if only hearing and vision are given. Teaching in a multi-sensory way means to help children through the use...
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