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Standard One: Teaching Diverse Students The competent teacher understands the diverse characteristics and abilities of each

student and how individuals develop and learn within the context of their social, economic, cultural, linguistic, and academic experiences. The teacher uses these experiences to create instructional opportunities that maximize student learning. This artifact was chosen because it uses teacher experiences in order to create opportunities for students to maximize their learning. This artifact is a good representation of the standard because it is a lesson plan that was implemented in a middle school classroom and was later modified based on specific student characteristics. The italicized and red sections indicate the areas that were modified, as well as the various appendices attached at the end of the written lesson. The lesson was modified in a special education class based on the characteristics of a particular student. This particular student had trouble reading and decoding text, and therefore was well below the expected reading level. He got very frustrated when he could not easily read and understand a text. However, he was very good at understanding text when read aloud and was also very creative. Using these characteristics, I made modifications to a lesson plan that I had originally implemented in the middle school classroom. I kept the content and I feel as though the students are still receiving the same amount of information, just in a way that better accommodates all students. I chose to modify the text which had to be read, utilize strategic group work, clarify all written directions, and create a concept map. These were all small steps that really didnt change the content or information of the lesson, but makes huge difference in how this particular student will respond to and comprehend the material presented in the lesson. Modifying this lesson really challenged me to become a better educator. None of the steps I took to modify this lesson were extremely complicated or creative, but were all planned out with the needs of the student in mind. Knowing my students will be the best way to make sure that each of them is receiving the best education possible. Being able to make these small changes in my lessons based on the diversity of my students will create opportunities for more students to understand and be engaged in each lesson. I learned that modifying lessons does not have to be a huge ordeal each time. In creating relationships with students and knowing where they struggle and excel, I will be able to easily recognize areas of my lessons that might pose problems and will be able to remedy it before implementation. I think experience will be my best asset, as I will better learn how to determine the struggles and more quickly and efficiently make changes. The biggest thing that I learned is that by simply going through planned lessons with a fresh perspective and certain student struggles in mind, the challenges and weak areas of that lesson become obvious and can easily be modified.