Adapting Curriculums for Diverse Learners with Pam Petralia

We're recapping insights from the Look Ahead with Pam Petralia.

We spoke with Pam, the creator of “Mrs. P’s Specialities”, on how to break barriers and adapt a curriculum for diverse learners.

Pam is a special education teacher and has worked in a variety of settings for over 25 years. She is passionate about providing teachers with the necessary tools to implement effective learning in their classrooms without sacrificing their personal time and health. A need for reliable information and to help prevent burnout in teachers is what inspired Pam to create Mrs. P’s Specialities.

During our talk, Pam defines a barrier as any skill, activity or behaviour that makes it hard for students to access curriculum. For example, maybe the student hasn’t yet developed skills like differentiating between yes and no, writing or commenting. Pam identifies these barriers and shares tips and tricks for teachers to tackle them effectively.

Once the barriers have been addressed, the teacher can adapt the curriculum for students in many ways, such as: 

1. Reducing visual clutter on a worksheet, or the number of questions asked.
2. Breaking up lessons into two-three smaller chunks for easier comprehension.
3. Adding visual or auditory cues, depending on the needs of the student.

Teachers can further help students with their curriculum by providing:

1. Step by step directions.

2. Reminder checklists.

3. Open book testing options.

4. Extra time or breaks.

However, to avoid prompt dependency, it is necessary to have a plan in place to fade supports out as soon as the student has developed the skill.

Don’t worry if you missed our conversation with Pam, you can watch it here!

Follow Pam on Instagram!