Overview

Whether your students are English language learners, low performing, gifted, or  students with special needs, Membean personalizes and differentiates instruction to meet them where they are and challenge them accordingly. We understand the varied nuances of each subpopulation and that each learner has unique needs. This article aims to provide general suggestions about individual training preferences and optimal training recommendations for these unique students. 

Students need some reading proficiency to be able to use Membean successfully. If your students have below a 5th grade reading level or severe learning disabilities, Membean may not be the right product for you.

Mark struggling classes as ESL/ELL/remedial 

We recommend creating a separate class for your students who need additional assistance so that you can mark the class as ESL/ELL/remedial and set different goals and expectations. Checking the ESL/ELL/remedial box is a critical step in ensuring your students' Membean success, and it is most effective before students have calibrated. Checking this box will calibrate students onto our lower word lists, making sure they start off with words at their level. It also adjusts several settings to aid in the learning process, such as providing extended time and issuing our most challenging question types less frequently.

If you only have a few students who need additional assistance, you can update their individual training preferences rather than having them in a separate class. Because checking the ESL/ELL/remedial box applies the settings to all students in the class, do not check it unless all of the students need additional help.

Training recommendations

Students in remedial or ESL programs and those with learning disabilities may need to train more frequently, but for shorter sessions each time. Chunk their training by keeping the same total minute requirement that you have for your gen-ed students, but have them split their sessions into 5-10 minutes at a time. This helps these unique learners maintain focus. For example, if your class requirement is to complete two 20-minute sessions per week, you could have these students complete four 10-minute sessions. Having struggling learners train for the amount of time they can actually remain focused is key.  

Differentiate quizzes & writing assignments

Differentiate your quizzes and writing assignments based on student ability. A gifted group of students might only need to be assessed once per quarter, while your struggling students would benefit from regular weekly quizzes to both provide rapid short-term learning feedback and impart a sense of seriousness to learning.

When generating quizzes, include more SATA questions for your gifted students, and avoid these questions for students who might not be ready for this level of difficulty. SATA questions are very challenging, and they greatly increase the rigor of the quiz. You can also assign gifted students more challenging writing assignments and have your grading reflect your differing expectations. 

Use training alerts

Consider the training alerts that you use for different subsets of students. For example, a gifted student can probably be excused for moving quickly through training questions. A struggling student should be red-flagged for moving too fast. You may be okay with gifted students skipping familiar words, while you want to be alerted if your struggling students are skipping words too frequently. You can select the alerts you’d like to see for your students by editing your report

Provide training accommodations

You can adjust individual student training preferences to provide accommodations for those students who need them. Just follow these simple steps to see what training preferences are available:

  1. Click the class of the student you need to adjust.

  2. Click the Students tab to see the list of the students in that class.

  3. Find the student's name and click the drop-down menu to the right.

  4. Click Preferences

  5. You will then be able to select the training preferences you'd like to apply to that student.

Here are some of the most commonly used training preferences for students who need accommodations:

  • Extended Time: This extends the time allocated for answering questions and completing quizzes. 
  • Set "Strong Memory" mode: Checking this box will reinforce existing words before introducing new ones. Students will see new words less often, but they'll learn each word better.
  • Hide progress timers: Some students are distracted by countdown progress timers. This will remove the progress timer while answering questions.
  • Disable "I Know This": Students will not be able to skip words. 
  • Dyslexic: Turn on special dyslexic fonts and a larger font size during training to aid dyslexics.

Trust Membean

Differentiation is a deep-rooted pedagogical approach of Membean’s that recognizes--and celebrates--the uniqueness of every student. The trainer was designed to meet students at their own level, recognize their individual challenges, and foster word awareness and vocabulary acquisition. All you need to do is get them calibrated onto the appropriate word list, and the rest is taken care of behind the scenes. Trust the program to do the work for you.