Walk a Mile in a Child’s Shoes Understanding the non-traditional learner
Some Assumptions Some of you are glad to be here and are looking forward to learning. Others wish that they just had the day off and are perfectly satisfied with what they know. Some may be worried that they will be found lacking. Some may be distracted by issues outside this room. Some may know a great deal about this topic already. Others may think it has nothing to do with them.
In other words • You are just like your students
Another assumption I am making is that you all want to teach students so that they can learn.
Learning research All people learn best when the material is just challenging enough. If your energy is being spent in dealing with difficult emotions (anxiety, fear…) you will have little left for learning.
Outline of the day • Introduction 9:00 • Ruben Gur: Brain research • Film • Break 10:45 • First session 11:00 • Lunch 11:45 • Second session 12:45 • Third session 1:30 • Wrap up 2:15 • No pre-visit instruction • Background instruction • Review of schedule Review of schedule Background instruction No pre-visit instruction
Introduction of guest experts • Ruben Gur: doctor of neuropsychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. • Sandra Howze: founder of Stratford Friends School, the first Quaker school for children who learn differently. • Mariendl Hufford: director of the Center for Learning, Teaching and Professional Development at Woodlynde School.
From the mission statement Ultimately, the Baldwin community aspires to cultivate in each student the ability and the courage to continue giving and growing as a scholar, a woman and a human being.
Children learn what you do, not what you say. • Be the life long learner you want your students to be. • Keep an open mind about the activities today.
Differentiated Instruction • Differentiated Instruction is a teaching theory based on the premise that instructional approaches should vary and be adapted in relation to individual and diverse students in classrooms.
To differentiate instruction is to recognize students' varying • background knowledge, • readiness, • language, • preferences in learning, • and interests, • and to react responsively.
Differentiated instruction is a process to approach teaching and learning for students of differing abilities in the same class. • The intent of differentiating instruction is to maximize each student’s growth and individual success by meeting each student where she is, and assisting in the learning process.
Today we will be focusing on the DIFFERENTIATED part of Differentiated Instruction • Later in the year we will focus on the INSTRUCTION part of Differentiated Instruction
My own view of students and learning • Every brain is unique and has strengths and weaknesses. • No one uses only one modality when learning, but some prefer one over another.
The brain is flexible and can be taught to do things it once was not very good at. • I do not like the term “learning disablility” as it suggests that someone is not able to learn. I prefer “learning difference” as more hopeful. • If you think someone is not smart, it is very hard to teach them well.
How learning styles can vary: • You may prefer visuallearning or verbal learning or learning by doing • You may like to have the whole picture first or to start by learning the details • You may like to think and read or you may like to talk to find out what you think • You might learn best while quiet and still or you may learn best while moving. • This list could go on and on
Three important areas of learning • Attention: can you focus on the salient input? • Memory: can you use that focus to hold on to information and process it in order to remember it? • Language: can you access the language you need in order to express and receive information verbally?
Exit papers • On the pad that was on your chair, write answers to the following questions, one on each side: • What are you hoping to take away from the inservice day today? • What do you think differentiated instruction means? • Hand it in by putting it in the box at the door when you leave.