9 Tips for Effective Individualized Lesson Plans


Students learn best when lessons match their interests and individual abilities. Individualized lesson plans and instruction are critical to reach each one of our students. We do not learn all the same way, and should not teach the same way.

I am sharing with you the 9 tips I use in my classroom for effective lesson planning individualization.

Through observation is when I identify my students' interests, areas of strengths , and areas they need to work on. Besides academics I also observe for social-emotional development in my students. In my classroom I am currently working on initiating peer interactions and self-regulation.

Once I've done my observations I start developing my students' specific goals in divergent areas. I begin to create goals for math, language and literacy, physical development, and our primary focus for this year: ELD and social-emotional development.

It is very important to maintain confidentiality at all times. I always post my weekly lesson plan on the parents' board - but my individualized goals and lesson plan is only for my team's eyes. 

You've done observations, you have gotten to get to know your students, now you can identify which teaching strategies would be most effective for your students.

 I' always flexible when creating my individualized lesson plans. I can intend to apply a specific strategy for this specific student, therefore in may not work.  This happens sometimes, although the observation done initially could minimize it.

Provide engaging activities for the students. Young children learn through play, therefore planning fun, engaging games and activities would attract children to join them and explore.

When lesson planning balance teacher-directed and student-directed activities and discussions. Take turns with your young learners and allow them to initiate learning activities.

Provide a variety of activities and materials to work on those specific goals. Variety can be allowed in different ways. Try different times of the day, different learning materials, different teaching strategies, etc.

This tip is the one I consider the most important: teach and adapt!
Now that you have taken all of these tips and best practices into consideration, it's time for the best part: TEACH! Be aware that you must be willing to adapt. The lesson plan you've spent all weekend in creating did not work? that's ok! You must do a self-evaluation on your teaching and adapt to the student and the circumstances.
Grab this lesson plan format HERE!

This is a lesson plan sample with indidualizations. The blue means accommodations and individualized activities I will be offering and teaching to my students. Please note, I offer individualized activities for my below level, above level, and for my English Language Learners.

I truly hope these tips can help you provide your students with an individualized instruction to maximize their unique potential.

Keep learning!

This blog post was created in collaboration with Learning Genie.

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