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Jan 07, 2016
Walk a Mile in a Childs ShoesUnderstanding the non-traditional learner
Think of a child: someone who is a mystery to you
Try to walk in her shoes today.
Some AssumptionsOthers 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.Some of you are glad to be here and are looking forward to learning.
In other wordsYou are just like your students
Another assumption I am making is that you all want to teach students so that they can learn.
Learning researchAll 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 dayIntroduction9:00Ruben Gur: Brain researchFilm Break10:45First session11:00Lunch11:45Second session12:45Third session1:30Wrap up2:15No pre-visit instructionBackground instructionReview of scheduleReview of scheduleBackground instructionNo pre-visit instruction
Introduction of guest expertsRuben 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 statementUltimately, 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 InstructionDifferentiated 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 students 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 InstructionLater in the year we will focus on the INSTRUCTION part of Differentiated Instruction
My own view of students and learningEvery 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 visual learning or verbal learning or learning by doingYou may like to have the whole picture first or to start by learning the detailsYou may like to think and read or you may like to talk to find out what you thinkYou 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 learningAttention: 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 papersOn 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.
One of our challenges this year is to Walk a Mile in Someone Elses Shoes This helps us to develop empathy and understanding, both very important in teaching children.*Research into memory tells us that making a connection with your own knowledge helps you to remember new learning. A concrete example will help you to connect better to the activities of the day. That child may not match the issues we are talking about, but she will help you to be more personally involved.*As the seventh graders noted in their skits on the camping trip, this does not literally mean changing shoes with someone, but an image such as these does help you to connect and pay attention. *You face a wide variety of readiness for learning every day. The important thing to remember is that each of those students can learn.*Whether you are in lower school, middle school or upper school, a coach, an art teacher or a science teacher you all want to be able to teach the students you have.**Zone of proximal development: just enough stress, not too much. Franklin Institute research found that knowing the schedule for the day freed the students from worrying about the details of the day and helped them to learn more on their visit. Therefore, I will review the schedule for the day.**This is a picture of my daughter who is demonstrating safety precautions for her rock climbing students.Example of father whose daughter has been learning all week about honesty and then the dad blows it all by telling the child to say she is 11, not 12 when in line at the movies.