2 Understanding Diverse Learners


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  • This is the second in a series of four presentations to assist teachers in catering for students’ diverse learning needs. The others are: 1 Understanding the KLA syllabuses to plan for diverse learners and their needs 3 Planning for the diverse learning needs of students 4 Strategies for making adjustments to cater for students with diverse learning needs You may choose to use all or part of the presentations, depending on the needs of the audience and the focus and time of the selected presentation. The notes associated with each slide provide extra information and advice for facilitators; they are not intended to be a delivery script. Resources and useful references for this presentation are listed, with details of where to find them, in the document “Welcome and notes for presenters”, that accompanies these presentations. Resources KISS planning template (A3) One set of information papers on specific disabilities If there has been time since Workshop 1 for teachers to investigate and use the materials presented, you could start by initiating a discussion to allow teachers to reflect on their learning and identify plus, minus and interesting things (PMI) or strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) about their understanding and application of the resources presented.
  • 2 Understanding Diverse Learners

    1. 1. Understanding the diverse learning needs of students Workshop 2
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>What do we need to know about the learner for planning? </li></ul><ul><li>Who can provide information to inform planning? </li></ul>Knowing about the learner for planning
    3. 3. Why do teachers need to know the learner? <ul><li>To provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and can do </li></ul><ul><li>To meet the individual student’s learning and assessment needs </li></ul><ul><li>To provide flexible, challenging and appropriate opportunities for enriched learning </li></ul><ul><li>To ensure that the student is actively engaged in learning </li></ul><ul><li>To promote individual success through learning </li></ul><ul><li>To progress learning for each individual </li></ul><ul><li>To promote a positive attitude toward learning </li></ul>
    4. 4. Ask these key questions when planning <ul><li>Do I know the abilities, needs and interests of each of my students? </li></ul><ul><li>What do my students need to learn? </li></ul><ul><li>What interactions will facilitate and support students’ learning? </li></ul><ul><li>What situations will encourage and support learning? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the most appropriate ways for students to demonstrate their learning? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the indicators of success in learning? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Physical skills Organisational skills Thinking strategies Dispositions for learning
    6. 6. Your task <ul><li>List key ideas or questions to focus your thinking on what students know and can do . </li></ul>
    7. 7. Elements of learning to consider when planning <ul><li>What students need to know: </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual and perceptual understandings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Language, symbol systems and terminologies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Procedures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attention to the activity/investigation/situation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Processes and techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational, operational and management skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual/spatial perceptions and skills </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking strategies – problem solving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Memory recall </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What students need to do: </li></ul><ul><li>Physical and kinaesthetic skills </li></ul><ul><li>Select, use and apply knowledge, procedures, skills and strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate dispositions to learning </li></ul>
    8. 8. Finding out what students know and can do <ul><li>Suggested strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Create a rubric </li></ul><ul><li>Use KWL </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm, discuss – create a word web, concept map … </li></ul><ul><li>Ask: ‘What questions do you have now?’ </li></ul><ul><li>Use records of prior learning, observations, consultations … </li></ul>
    9. 9. Sample questions to ask students <ul><li>What hobbies do you have? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you want to learn about? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you like to read? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you like about maths? </li></ul><ul><li>How would you describe yourself as a learner? </li></ul><ul><li>How best do you learn? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you need to be comfortable in the classroom? </li></ul><ul><li>How can the classroom be more welcoming for you? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your favourite part of the school day? </li></ul><ul><li>What would be a perfect day at school, for you? </li></ul><ul><li>What else do I need to know to help you learn? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Example 1: Calvin <ul><li>Calvin is a visual and kinaesthetic learner. He draws pictures as a way to conceptualise solutions to Maths problems. He reads simple text with a few well-spaced sentences but he feels anxious when confronted by a lot of text on a page. He needs assistance to interpret written language as he is unsure what he is being asked to do. Embarrassed by these difficulties, Kevin is hesitant to ask the teacher or classmates for help. He is more comfortable when things are presented visually. </li></ul><ul><li>Planning strategies for students with special needs – Teaching Children Mathematics, Oct 2004 </li></ul>Assistance to understand what he reads Written instructions using visual clues Include drawings/diagrams within his assessment of maths concepts How to read simple sentences How to develop visual ideas He uses visualisation/drawing as a strategy to support his understanding of maths problems What he needs support to learn What he knows
    11. 11. Example 2: Leita-Jane Leita-Jane is 12 years old and has successfully demonstrated level 1 outcomes in English, SOSE, Science and Mathematics and is working toward level 2. She works well with peers and a teacher’s-aide. Her short-term memory is good and she can identify visual representations of familiar surroundings and people and make connections between where they work and what kind of work they do. In a geographical mapping exercise she can connect photographs of school personnel with their classrooms and staff rooms and describe their type of work. Assistance with reading written instructions Introduce visual clues to increase independence Support to access new and unfamiliar knowledge Identifies familiar surroundings and people Can read visual representations Makes connections between separate pieces of information Can manipulate equipment and media to create visual representations of concepts. What she needs support to learn What she knows
    12. 12. Your task <ul><li>Consider 3 or 4 of your students </li></ul><ul><li>Identify: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>what they know and can do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what support these students need to learn </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Record your information on the KISS planning sheet provided. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Who can provide information to support planning? <ul><li>Students, peers, friends </li></ul><ul><li>Family members </li></ul><ul><li>Other teachers involved in the learning programs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. music, library, physical education teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specialists, school personnel, colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>QSA, and sector information/ policies (Education Queensland, Cath. Ed., AISQ) </li></ul>
    14. 14. Your task <ul><li>Consider the people who can support your planning and teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the type of information these people may provide to assist you. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Teachers are invited to use this information to plan for adjustments in catering for the diverse learning needs of students and to maximise student learning. What next?
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