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Learnng and Teaching Styles

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Running head: Week 2 – Application Checkpoint 1: Learning and Teaching Styles

Learning and Teaching Styles
Application of Accommodating Learning and Teaching Styles
Sha’Rell Martin
Concordia University

I find that addressing the various learning styles in my classroom is a full time job in itself. But I realize it’s important to keep in mind that my young charges don’t all learn in the same manner. They need a wealth of experiences to help make connections and cement learning. Creating multi-sensory lessons and an environment that helps my students focus on the material at hand are helpful ways to meet this goal.

Thinking back to my own kindergarten experience, what I remember most are the themed units of study that allowed me to connect to the material in a more visceral fashion. It’s getting involved in hands-on activities that I remember; the physical doing of things. Building the Mayflower out of the big hollow blocks made an impression on me, as did making beaded Native American necklaces. I remember making eggnog, painting spring flowers on the windows and releasing ladybugs into the garden.

Think back to your own early learning experiences. Are you remembering sitting at a desk and having specific information fed to you? Or are you recalling some hands-on projects you did? Maybe a song or tune comes to mind? A field trip you went on? You’re probably reminiscing about a project that connected to your senses or emotions; a project that used a multi-sensory approach. It’s the ability to make these connections that makes this approach so meaningful for learning.

Chances are your students will also do most of their most meaningful learning when they’re engaged in a lesson that uses a multi-sensory approach. When I’m planning a unit I try to keep that in mind, checking to be certain that I’ve included things like: * a song, dance, or movement activity * an art or craft project * a play or drama opportunity * a model * a cooking project
So if I want to lend this approach to a study of butterflies for my son, I’ll keep the great picture books like Sam Swope’s Gotta Go, Gotta Go and Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar , but I’ll make sure my son isn’t just being a passive learner. We’ll go hunt for caterpillars in the garden, sip cups of nectar (sugar water) on paper flowers through straws, and emerge from a chrysalis (body sock).

It’s also important to remember what an impact a classroom has on our students. I like to check my room for unused furniture and put it in storage. I gave up my desk a number of years ago, reasoning I had better use for the space. This is a home away from home, folks, I want it to be inviting for my students, as well as my student parents.

When setting up my classroom, I tone down the visual stimuli, to make the room calm and inviting. I want my students to be able to mentally and visually focus on materials that are educationally relevant. When designing my room I include natural materials like wooden furniture, baskets for books and green plants. Other things I have tried are: * Paint the room a soothing, neutral color. * Put a tablecloth on the table, where the students check in for the morning for updates. * Cover the bulletin boards with a neutral fabric or paper. * Cover open shelving and windows with curtains. * Do an inventory of all my walls.
Providing an environment that’s conducive to learning and planning lesson that use a multi-sensory approach are to great ways to help teach my students. It keeps things fun and focused.

References

Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. Boston, MA: D. C. Heath & Co., Publishers.

Sylwester, R. (1994). How emotions affect learning. Educational Leadership, 52(2), 60-65. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct94/vol52/num02/How-
Emotions-Affect-Learning.aspx…...

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