Friday, December 9, 2011

Old Words with a Different Perspective

A simple, straightforward thought for you today. A quote which I have read many times but just recently came to me in an email. It caught my eye this time because I read it with a different perspective.

Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended
to with diligence.

~ Abigail Adams

I have always interpreted this quote thinking about the student. When I read it this time I was thinking about my role in the education and learning of the student(s). I then thought about your role. Mrs. Adams’ quote caught me off-guard and I have a deeper appreciation for her words.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Challenge

How do you learn best? As teachers, we all should know our own learning styles and modalities. If you’re not sure, then the answer may be to look at how you develop your own lessons. We’re all more comfortable using strategies which “make sense” to us. I have seen this in different venues, too, like sports. Team strengths usually reflect the strengths that the coach demonstrated as a player. This may not be a coincidence. History tells us that we prefer to work within our comfort areas.

I am an active learner with a preference for working within groups. Can you picture how I conducted my classes? My lessons involved strategies which benefited the tactile and kinesthetic learner. The auditory learner would also benefit from the group activities, but, unfortunately, I probably did not serve the visual learner well. I didn’t have many graphic organizers, media displays, charts, or posted objectives. Periodically, I would plan an activity preferred by the visual learner. This would occur once, maybe twice in a unit. This was not enough.

We need to develop lessons in which our students can best comprehend; all our students. In the coming weeks, I challenge you to extend yourselves to incorporate strategies which address all learning styles, in each lesson. You will observe an increased level of student engagement. This will translate to student performance. If you doubt me, then try it and prove me wrong.