Series Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-\x80\x9312
  • 7:  7th Grade
  • 1: 
    Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support
    analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as
    inferences drawn from the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

Lesson Objective: Use stations to provide tailored instruction to students
Grades 5-8 / ELA / Stations


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How do Ms. DeBose and her co-teacher Ms. Aldebot use data to inform their planning?
  2. How are stations effective in meeting the needs of diverse learners?
  3. Ms. DeBose uses her co-teacher and paraprofessionals to lead the stations. How could you plan a lesson like this one if you don't have extra teachers in your classroom?


  • Private message to Grace El-Fishawy

At the school I did fieldwork in last year, maximzing all of the adults in the room was somthing that my co-teacher and I definitly did not do as well as we could have. It was really interesting to see how this teacher used all of the adults and their skills. 

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  • Private message to Dana Williams

1.  They used their data to determine which areas students were strongest and weakest in.  Once the data was analyzed the planned their instruction around it in the form of stations hitting key areas of weakness.

2. Stations allow very specific instruction to occur in the areas that students need the most instruction.   Stations allows the learning material to broken into chunks in order to better understand the full learning goal.


3.  Stations can be used with single teachers in the way that the instruction can happen in a station and other stations can be set up to work independently on the concepts they most understand and utilizing peer to peer instruction.

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  • Private message to Lisa Machuga
  1. How do Ms. DeBose and her co-teacher Ms. Aldebot use data to inform their planning?  The look at previous writings of the students to help guide and direct the emphasis of learning.  They also used "self reflection" the students provided to identify areas the students feel are more difficult to understand.
  2. How are stations effective in meeting the needs of diverse learners? The are incorperating stronger students who perform the topic of each station well to be a lead at that station.  The stations are divided in to areas when students need more support for understanding so the teachers are able to focus on that area.
  3. Ms. DeBose uses her co-teacher and paraprofessionals to lead the stations. How could you plan a lesson like this one if you don't have extra teachers in your classroom? You can depend on your stronger students to help lead some of the groups.  Also supply the groups with detailed discussion questions to guide their station.
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  • Private message to Linda Viera
  1. How do Ms. DeBose and her co-teacher Ms. Aldebot use data to inform their planning? They were able to make small groups by levels of understanding.
  2. How are stations effective in meeting the needs of diverse learners? Stations are effective because the teacher can target specific learning for students in a small group.  There can be differential learning targeted for each station.
  3. Ms. DeBose uses her co-teacher and paraprofessionals to lead the stations. How could you plan a lesson like this one if you don't have extra teachers in your classroom? She actually had 4 adults, so one at each station.  That would be optimal.  You can plan a similar lesson like this and at each station, assign a student as a peer tutor.


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  • Private message to Valerie Guzman

The stations are a great strategy and I love all the small ideas that are incorporated into them. One thing that really stood out to me was when the space was created to let the students know what the small groups were about and also what the students were struggling with. Creating that open communication between you and the students is something that becomes really meaningful on both ends. Another thing about the small groups is mentioning how you can break things down if students' don't quite understand them. Using the small groups to help more students in a closer manner is a great way to help the students have more progress. 

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  • Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners Transcript

    Speaker 1: I am in my twelfth year of teaching and I've always had

    Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners Transcript

    Speaker 1: I am in my twelfth year of teaching and I've always had students who were designated as students with special needs or students who are designated as English language learners. I never have felt like I've done the best job at supporting them. For me, it's really important because it's over a third of my kids and I want all of my kids to grow and develop as learners. For some of them, that means something really different than what it means for someone else. For my Getting Better Together focus, I really want to work to meet the needs of my diverse learners.

    Can I have a volunteer, in a loud, clear voice, read our learning target for today? I should see many hands up in the air ... Today we have four adults in the room. Myself, my co-teacher, and two paraprofessionals. What I want to do differently is maximize the adults in the room and recognize that gives us a huge advantage in helping push students further than I could as one adult by myself. Or as we could as four adults with one person teaching ...

    Speaker 2: All right, everybody has their book?

    Speaker 1: We are trying something new today where we're actually using stations to give kids smaller group instruction with an adult and a few of their peers ... If you're analyzing text, what are you doing? Sam?

    Speaker 3: Make a claim about it.

    Speaker 1: What do you mean by that? ... How we actually came to today, my co-teacher, Ms. [Aldebi 00:01:42] and I looked at previous work that our kids had done. We also ask kids to do kind of their own self reflection. We gave them a very short, three question survey ... We have a lot of strengths as a group and we also have some areas where we need to grow. Those are actually in three main areas. The areas we're looking for growth in are locating the piece of evidence that you want.

    We started seeing some data that showed us that our students needed particular help in certain areas. We took all of that data and used it to create four different stations ... Each of you is going to move to at least two of these stations, today ... Today's lesson will focus on preparing for a text-based discussion about the book, "Wonder", by R.J. Palacio ... How do you figure out what the most important events are? ... The station that I'll be working at is, how do we identify major events in a particular section of the text? ... I'm going to give you some strategies today that will help you. We are going to use our discussion questions to locate evidence ... My co-teacher is working to help students find the piece of evidence they want.

    Speaker 5: Do you agree, [Angeline 00:02:59]?

    Speaker 1: Also, one of the paraprofessionals is going to be working with a group on how you use textual evidence to support an inference that you're making.

    Speaker 6: Summer made the right decision 'cause she felt uncomfortable.

    Speaker 7: Where's the evidence to support your claim?

    Speaker 8: Oh, yeah. It's right here.

    Speaker 1: The fourth group, they'll be preparing for our group discussion for the next day.

    Speaker 8: She finally got used to it and she saw him for the person he is, not for how he looks.

    Speaker 9: Exactly, so that's what you could write.

    Speaker 1: In these small groups, we're hoping that kids will walk away with a new skill that will help them better analyze the text and find evidence to support that ... I made a little awesome book mark for you guys. When I'm trying to identify a major event, I ask myself three questions, okay? These are the three questions that can help you figure that out ... Stations one and two were for students that needed a little bit more foundation ... Okay, we're going to pick two, and I want you guys, they're all from Summer's section, to determine is it a major event, or a minor event? How do you know? You can use your questions to help you.

    It's my hope that breaking things up and breaking them down will help push them. If the evidence shows me they're not quite ready, how do I break it down so that they can kind of find their entry point? ... [Deshwandee 00:04:14] is our fabulous peer tutor. Ms. Aldebi and I were talking, as were planning this lesson, around particular kids who are just really high-level readers. They're really good at making inferences and analyzing text. How do we push them? One way to do that, I think, is to get them to step into a space where they're supporting others. The more opportunities we can give kids, the better ... If this event were missing, would it have less of an impact on me as the reader?

    Speaker 10: Now we know he likes to play that game.

    Speaker 1: Okay, and is that-

    Speaker 11: It's more of a detail than action, than, like, something that would [inaudible 00:04:50] to you.

    Speaker 1: It was really awesome to have Deshwandee talk with other kids around why she thought things were major or minor events. In that sense, she was more of a model today.

    Speaker 2: Let's start with this, locating the piece of evidence you want. How do you guys typically start doing that? Yasmine?

    Yasmine: If they're talking about a certain character, I would go to their part.

    Speaker 2: I like that.

    Speaker 14: I use the hint that they give me.

    Speaker 2: What's the hint that you're talking about? What part.

    Speaker 14: It's talking about Summer, so I go back into the chapter of Summer.

    Speaker 1: For my station, I was facilitating locating evidence. The question was about a certain chapter in the book, I was just asking them, how do you know to look in this particular chapter? Or, how do you know that this is what's going to happen? ... Let's talk about what you guys mentioned before. You say you use hints from the question. We're using what we know about the narrator. Who's the narrator that we're talking about in discussion question number two?

    Speaker 15: Summer.

    Speaker 1: Summer, okay. Let's turn to Summer's section in our book. Where is the evidence that tells us what the plague is? Yasmine?

    Yasmine: Okay, I found evidence in paragraph three, sentence two.

    Speaker 1: Very nice.

    Yasmine: It says: Apparently, this is a game that's been going on since the beginning of the end. The plague, it's a game that they play.

    Speaker 1: Very nice, so that's the first piece of evidence ... I think it went well. Our students picked up on what we were looking for. They just needed the extra push as to how we're going to be locating it and getting those questions going for them to figure out where to start ... We are going to transition. Make sure you have everything you need, and then if you don't remember, you can look up at our station paper. Take your things to your second station.

    Speaker 7: Now, we discuss questions number two, and they're finding the evidence.

    Speaker 1: All right ... There's some students that could have benefited from hitting every station, but just with the way that our day was structured and the time, we gave them the opportunity to go to two.

    Speaker 16: Anyone who accidentally touches August has to wash their hands or use sanitizer within thirty seconds, or they will get the plague. I think it's a major event.

    Speaker 1: Why?

    Yasmine: Because pretty much, they're being mean to him because of how he looks, of his face.

    Speaker 1: Okay. If that event were missing, would it be harder to understand the book or feel less complete?

    Yasmine: Yes.

    Speaker 16: Yes, it would. Because you wouldn't understand why people didn't want to touch him.

    Speaker 1: Okay. Bring yourself back to your original seat. We're going to give you three minutes to reflect ... What is one strategy that you learned, or practiced, today? ... Today, we were really intentional about taking the time for kids to reflect and then to respond to each other. When I walked around as students were writing their closing reflections, it was powerful to see that we took some first steps, today ... Were you not reading the questions closely, before? You were just ... what were you doing?

    Speaker 17: Reading it, and then not looking for the evidence for it.

    Speaker 1: Okay, and so what are you going to do now, or what's different?

    Speaker 17: Use the words in the question to help me cite evidence.

    Speaker 1: Okay ... We will see in the discussion tomorrow, are they able to actually cite textual evidence that supports an analysis that's accurate.

    Yasmine: I learned that if the discussion or anything gives, like, says something about any character, you go back to the book and go to their part of the text.

    Speaker 1: What I'm hearing is you use clues from the discussion question to go back and find your evidence. Very nice ... I think it was really insightful to hear certain kids share a reflection, and then others connect to that.

    Speaker 18: I have something like that, where it said textual evidence to support my ideas. When I was re-reading it to find the evidence, I remembered the scene that was happening in that part.

    Speaker 1: Thank you. You had a connection to what [Anasia 00:09:00] was saying. Okay ... It's beneficial in seeing, like, "Hey, you did learn a new strategy. Now I know I can push you in that area or help you develop additional strategies to use as you move forward" ... Can you sign, thank you, to your partner, please? Ms. Aldebi, Ms. JoAnn, Ms. Elaine, are we good? ... I think I'd make a number of changes to what happened today. One of the key changes is actually creating a space and carving out more time to prepare everybody who was in some sort of teaching role.

    Another change would be thinking about our peer tutors. What would be helpful is to kind of even have a class discussion with them around, how do you think we can grow this so that more of us have the opportunity to step into that role? You know, tapping into that bank of resources when we're moving into a lesson or stations that could use that support ... You're saying it would feel incomplete if this was missing. Why?

    Speaker 16: Because the raiders feel like that Summer's not just anyone for ...

    Speaker 1: I think for me, what it really comes down to, is it's opportunity for kids to have a small group or close to one-on-one interaction with an adult. That's really hard in schools today. In some of my classes, I'm the only teacher. In this class, where there are four of us, something that I want to continue is to figure out, how can we create more opportunities for kids to have interactions and conversations and kind of guided facilitation with other adults in the room? Then, how do we support each other as the adults in the room, to get better at that?

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School Details

Bronx Studio School For Writers And Artists
928 Simpson Street
Bronx NY 10459
Population: 591

Data Provided By:



Geneviève DeBose
English Language Arts / 7 / Teacher
Linda Aldebot


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