The Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners module provides general principles, specific strategies, and resources to help educators tailor instruction to satisfy different students’ needs with the emphasis on the format of distance learning. The module encompasses various groups of students, spanning from gifted learners to struggling students, SPED students, EL learners, and simply students with different interests, backgrounds, and learning preferences. In order to achieve ultimate results in learning, students need differentiated instruction. This module  offers valuable information on how to accomplish it in the environment of distance learning, so that successful education can continue. Many of the discussed approaches are easily applicable to traditional seated classroom formats as well.


  1. Understand main principles and criteria of successful differentiated lessons in distance learning.
  2. Recall new strategies and tools for providing differentiated instruction to satisfy the needs of a wide variety of learners.
  3. Be able to adjust the approaches to fit the format of distance learning or regular seated classroom environment.
  4. Consider best practices for connecting to and collaborating with parents.
  5. Access state and national resources to learn more about meeting diverse learners’ needs.

Meeting the Diverse Needs from MO DESE on Vimeo.

To view individual chapters, select the chapter from the choices on the right.

Reflective Questions:

  1. What criteria should I consider when designing distance learning lessons that can reach all my students?
  2. How could the discussed strategies improve the learning of gifted, SPED, EL students, and simply students with different learning preferences; what difference can they make on student achievement and attitude towards learning?
  3. What tools and strategies would allow me to satisfy diverse learners’ needs while fitting well within my specific professional setting?
  4. How can the mentioned principles and strategies apply to both distance learning and seated classroom instruction?

PowerPoint Presentation:

Module Presentation

Resource Document:

Module Resource Document


Kelly Klocke
Federal Programs Coordinator/ Assistant Principal
Bayless School District

Jean Lawson
Elementary Special Education
Springfield Public Schools R-XII

Olga McFadden
Forgein Language Teacher
Waynesville High School

Adam Scimone
Gifted Specialist/Instructional Coach
Kirkwood School District

Professional Biographies 

Kelly Klocke

Kelly Klocke is a Federal Programs Coordinator and Assistant Principal in the Bayless School District. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degrees in both special reading and administration. Kelly has worked in education for fifteen years and has taught students in grades 1-12. Her current work revolves around providing equitable education for the EL learners and striving readers in her diverse school district. Kelly enjoys spending time with her three year old son and attempting DIY projects.


Jean Lawson

Jean Lawson has an MA in Special Education and an autism certificate from Missouri State University. She has taught students with autism at Truman Elementary in Springfield, MO since 2007. Her passion is providing authentic learning experiences for students so they can apply skills while learning them. Her goal is generalizing skills across settings, in the home and community, and eventually in the workplace.


Olga McFadden

Olga McFadden has been teaching high school Foreign Language (German) for 12 years. In addition, she serves as a District Teacher Leader, providing coaching for beginner teachers and presenting professional development workshops at the building and district level. She has also been leading educational student tours to Europe. Olga has grown up abroad but has been living in the US since the age of 19. She has a K-12 certification in German, a Bachelor’s in Linguistics and Pedagogics, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from Missouri State University. In 2019-2020, Olga was selected District and then Regional Teacher of the Year, and has been one of the semi-finalists for Missouri Teacher of the Year. She is proud and honored to serve on the Teacher Advisory Committee led by MO Commissioner of Education Dr. Vandeven and thus representing MO teachers, their needs and opinions on the state level.


Adam Scimone

Adam Scimone is a St. Louis Regional Teacher of the Year, and currently works as an educator and instructional coach in the Kirkwood School District. Before working in classrooms, he taught coral ecology from a boat in the Florida Keys. His tan has faded, but his passion for inspiring kids has not. He is currently working as a gifted specialist to help adolescents learn more about their interests and themselves. He is also active in the genius hour movement, human-centered design, and working to make schools a more creative place. When he’s not at school, you can find him with his family out stalking mushrooms in one of Missouri’s wild places.