How can I help my students become self-directed learners?
With time and experience, I have learned that the best way to help students become self-directed learners is to provide a lot of support for them as they learn. This means lots of checklists and clear expectations for whatever task they need to accomplish. This class has served to remind me that students need a well-crafted, supportive framework to learn--this means more work for me to "stay 8 steps ahead" of the students. Having an ultimate destination in mind for them is key, and providing them with a framework to get their at their own pace is also key.
How can I support the diverse needs of learners?
This is a great question and I am not sure I meet every student's needs every day. However, in a project-based classroom, it is almost easier to see how each student is doing as an individual as they all work at their own pace. Being consistent with checking progress is very important. It allows me to see if a student has become stuck at any one point. I have noticed with project-based learning in my classroom that students are more apt to ask for help along the way. But I don't think I am quite answering the question--students have diverse learning styles and it is always a challenge to adequately meet every need in the classroom. The most important thing for me to do is to get to know each student so that I can anticipate when they will need adjustments in how they are learning.