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Different Children Different Instruction


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This presentation was shared at the Missouri District Educator's Conference on November 21, 2009.

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Different Children Different Instruction

  1. 1. Different Children - Different Ways To Learn Drew D. Gerdes Kindergarten Teacher Springfield/Redeemer Lutheran School Missouri District Educator’s Conference - 2009
  2. 2. I already know what you’re thinking! <ul><li>Please, please don’t let him be boring!!! </li></ul>
  3. 3. Don’t Worry!!! <ul><li>During this session, I want you to: </li></ul><ul><li>Learn something new </li></ul><ul><li>Refresh your memory </li></ul><ul><li>Be affirmed in what you already are doing </li></ul><ul><li>Help me learn something new </li></ul>
  4. 4. Let’s Get Started… <ul><li>True or False? </li></ul><ul><li>We want children to feel valued, confident, and successful. </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum today is sometimes standards-driven, assessment-dependent, and “push down.” </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers feel like “jugglers” keeping too many balls in the air. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Children of Today
  6. 6. Let’s Look at Scripture: <ul><li>Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” </li></ul><ul><li>Mark 10:16 – “And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. How Can We Ever Meet Their Many Different Needs and Learning Styles? <ul><li>Children are different; teachers are different </li></ul><ul><li>The teaching profession changes constantly </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers become frustrated when other demands on time keep us from “teaching” </li></ul><ul><li>“Just let me TEACH!” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Have You Heard of Differentiated Instruction? <ul><li>Well, it’s not allowing a child to complete just “half” of the assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not orally reading the assignment to a student. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not totally rearranging your lessons plans or adding to them for each child. </li></ul><ul><li>THEN WHAT IS IT?!?! </li></ul>
  9. 9. Differentiated Instruction: <ul><li>It is a philosophy, a way of thinking and structuring a classroom that puts children first. </li></ul><ul><li>It lets a child’s success be measured by his/her own individual growth. </li></ul><ul><li>I tell parents, “I will bring your child forward.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Different Children… <ul><li>Children are different, and they obviously learn differently, too! </li></ul><ul><li>Children have different strengths, needs, personalities, and developmental levels. </li></ul><ul><li>Think of a typical classroom  </li></ul><ul><li>Children have a variety of different foundations, backgrounds, and families, too! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Some Details on Differentiation… <ul><li>Auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. </li></ul><ul><li>Howard Gardner </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple Intelligences </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiated Instruction reinforces children’s strengths, allows different children to be mastering skills in different ways, and encourages children to explore and process information through varying learning preferences. </li></ul><ul><li>Yikes!!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Are you overwhelmed? </li></ul>
  12. 12. We’re All Overwhelmed! <ul><li>So many children </li></ul><ul><li>So many skill levels </li></ul><ul><li>So many developmental stages </li></ul><ul><li>So little time </li></ul><ul><li>Most teachers have little background for dealing with special needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Few on-site resources for support </li></ul><ul><li>We like our comfort-zone where one-size-fits-all activities that all children must complete are used. </li></ul>
  13. 13. It’s Okay! ----- Validate Yourself! <ul><li>Believe it or not…you are probably already differentiating your instruction and classroom! </li></ul><ul><li>Early Childhood Teachers are pros! </li></ul><ul><li>We are masters at intuitively sensing children’s unique strengths and needs. </li></ul>
  14. 14. You Mean I Already Do It? <ul><li>Learning Centers! </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Centers have been an integral part of early childhood classrooms long before differentiated instruction was a research-based practice! </li></ul>
  15. 15. For Example…Dinosaurs <ul><li>Draw dinosaurs </li></ul><ul><li>Read books about dinosaurs </li></ul><ul><li>Play with toy dinosaurs </li></ul><ul><li>Computer games about dinosaurs </li></ul><ul><li>Look at pictures of dinosaurs </li></ul><ul><li>Look at and explore bones </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about meat and plants </li></ul><ul><li>Feel “pretend” dinosaur skin/scales </li></ul>
  16. 16. What We Offer: <ul><li>Instructional Buffet </li></ul><ul><li>Present the same information in a variety of ways </li></ul><ul><li>Young children will eagerly devour all that is offered; most will settle into those types of activities that best satisfy their own appetites! </li></ul>
  17. 17. Think About It… <ul><li>When we teach a concept in a variety of ways, we greatly increase the chances of reaching each student. </li></ul><ul><li>D.I. is not ability grouping! </li></ul><ul><li>It is flexible and ever-changing. </li></ul><ul><li>Positive buzzing! </li></ul>
  18. 18. Modalities & Intelligences: <ul><li>Modalities </li></ul><ul><li>A way in which we process and understand information that is presented to us; a route through which we subconsciously choose to interpret stimuli and make sense of the world around us. </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>An innate talent or strength; we use our intelligences to demonstrate our understanding of the world as well as organize the information that our senses feed to us. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Modalities of Learning: <ul><li>A Visual Learner </li></ul><ul><li>Remembers more what is seen than heard </li></ul><ul><li>“ Come see…” </li></ul><ul><li>Can zero in on details </li></ul><ul><li>“ Find the hidden objects” </li></ul><ul><li>Distracted by a lot of clutter of physical movement </li></ul><ul><li>An Auditory Learner </li></ul><ul><li>Mumbles or talks to self </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoys songs and rhythmic activities </li></ul><ul><li>Phonemic awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoys listening to stories </li></ul><ul><li>“ It’s too noisy…” </li></ul><ul><li>Asks questions for clarity </li></ul>
  20. 20. More Modalities of Learning: <ul><li>A Tactile Learner </li></ul><ul><li>Touches everything – and gets in trouble for it  </li></ul><ul><li>Good at shoe tying, zips a coat </li></ul><ul><li>Dolls, blocks </li></ul><ul><li>Appears to listen well, but seldom remembers what is heard </li></ul><ul><li>A Kinesthetic Learner </li></ul><ul><li>Sitting still involves moving, but not hyperactive </li></ul><ul><li>Uses hands when speaks </li></ul><ul><li>Wants to “dive in” before directions are given </li></ul><ul><li>Large, oversized handwriting </li></ul><ul><li>“ Watch me!” </li></ul><ul><li>Likes to stand while working or playing </li></ul>
  21. 21. What Drew Thinks… <ul><li>For what it’s worth  </li></ul><ul><li>I get to know my students…WELL!!! </li></ul><ul><li>I know what their likes and dislikes are. </li></ul><ul><li>Beneficial for me…they “fall in love with me”…they don’t want to disappoint me. </li></ul><ul><li>What a great behavior tool! </li></ul>
  22. 22. A Behavior Tool, Too?!?!?! <ul><li>Yup…it certainly is! </li></ul><ul><li>When I know my students so well, I can make sure they find it easy to manage themselves and behave. </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer disruptions! </li></ul><ul><li>Success is EASY for them! </li></ul><ul><li>Think about it… </li></ul>
  23. 23. What are YOU? <ul><li>Do you know what kind of a </li></ul><ul><li>learner you are? </li></ul><ul><li>It’s wise to analyze our own learning styles. </li></ul><ul><li>Too often we present materials in a way that makes sense to us – not our students. </li></ul><ul><li>Take the brief survey…let’s take a look! </li></ul>
  24. 24. What Should I Do? <ul><li>Think of each child and ask yourself, “What is this child’s strongest modality of learning?” </li></ul><ul><li>Ask yourself, “Am I incorporating a wide range of activities that satisfy these learning modalities?” </li></ul>
  25. 25. Multiple Intelligences: <ul><li>Once we are aware of the wide range of learning modalities, we need to examine the spectrum of multiple intelligences with which our children demonstrate learning. </li></ul><ul><li>The more we understand, the better off we are offering experiences and assessments where children can succeed! </li></ul>
  26. 26. Multiple Intelligences: <ul><li>If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses. </li></ul><ul><li>Johan Wolfgang von Goethe </li></ul><ul><li>A child’s strengths are obvious at an early age. However, most children’s mix of strengths and learning preferences become more obvious after they enter school – it’s here they can explore realms that may have previously been unavailable to them. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Multiple Intelligences: <ul><li>Verbal-Linguistic </li></ul><ul><li>Articulate speaker </li></ul><ul><li>Loves stories </li></ul><ul><li>Remembers vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Loves word games </li></ul><ul><li>Poetry and rhymes </li></ul><ul><li>Bodily-Kinesthetic </li></ul><ul><li>Not necessarily strong, but well-coordinated </li></ul><ul><li>Good balance </li></ul><ul><li>Quickly learns sports </li></ul><ul><li>Walks up stairs using alternate feet </li></ul>
  28. 28. Multiple Intelligences: <ul><li>Logical-Mathematical </li></ul><ul><li>Sorting and classifying </li></ul><ul><li>Finds patterns easily </li></ul><ul><li>Checkers – strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Graphs – can easily draw conclusions from data </li></ul><ul><li>Needs correct answers </li></ul><ul><li>Intrapersonal </li></ul><ul><li>Self-directed and independent </li></ul><ul><li>Strong-willed; stubborn </li></ul><ul><li>“ Just thinking” </li></ul>
  29. 29. Multiple Intelligences: <ul><li>Visual-Spatial </li></ul><ul><li>Builds and draws with great detail </li></ul><ul><li>Good at computer activities </li></ul><ul><li>Puzzles and mazes </li></ul><ul><li>Takes everything apart to see how it works! </li></ul><ul><li>Musical </li></ul><ul><li>Hums while working </li></ul><ul><li>Loves to sing </li></ul><ul><li>Pretends to play instruments </li></ul><ul><li>Dances </li></ul><ul><li>Great coordination and tempo </li></ul><ul><li>Easily remembers songs learned </li></ul>
  30. 30. Multiple Intelligences: <ul><li>Interpersonal </li></ul><ul><li>Class leader </li></ul><ul><li>Kids want to be near her </li></ul><ul><li>Often kind and respectful </li></ul><ul><li>Makes friends easily </li></ul><ul><li>Peacemaker </li></ul><ul><li>Naturalist </li></ul><ul><li>The “bug” kids </li></ul><ul><li>Keenly aware of surroundings </li></ul><ul><li>Easily adapts to change </li></ul><ul><li>Common sense </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in the patterns of nature </li></ul>
  31. 31. And as a result… <ul><li>Those children with a verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence have an advantage in the traditional classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>Modalities and intelligences are the avenues which our instruction must travel so that children can arrive at the ultimate destination – solid mastery of skills, concepts, and understandings. </li></ul>
  32. 32. I can teach…how about assessment? <ul><li>You must realize that not all children learn best by doing exactly the same thing the same way at the same time. </li></ul><ul><li>So, we must assess differently, too. </li></ul><ul><li>Current research supports that achievement must be monitored in a variety of ways. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Exactly Why Do We Assess? <ul><li>To define instructional areas that need adjustment, reinforcement, extension, or challenge. </li></ul><ul><li>To plan group activities and individual mini-lessons that target specific areas for growth. </li></ul><ul><li>To celebrate and nurture a child’s development. </li></ul><ul><li>To effectively communicate to parents about progress and achievement. </li></ul><ul><li>To evaluate and revise our own plans for instruction based on student needs. </li></ul>
  34. 34. But How?!?! But What?!?! <ul><li>Informal, on-going assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Look for and make notes about behavior, choice, language, reaction, or demonstration of a skill </li></ul><ul><li>The younger the child, the more appropriate it is to use this kind of observational assessment (Lillian Katz) </li></ul><ul><li>Some Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>9/23 – Kyle make a pattern using ABAB </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>9/25 – Jeff – cuts with left but colors with right? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10/3 – Lauren – L backwards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10/6 – Cloe – black/brown? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use note cards or post-its and place in child’s file. </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Learning Profiles: <ul><li>Like a portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Includes: </li></ul><ul><li>Informal teacher notes </li></ul><ul><li>Parent input/info </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback from others </li></ul><ul><li>Formal assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Dated samples of work </li></ul><ul><li>Please Note: </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the best work children produce cannot logistically become part of a profile. Clay, pattern blocks, bridges made </li></ul><ul><li>Take a few pictures! </li></ul>
  36. 36. Formal Assessments: <ul><li>Formal assessments, such as checklists, are easy for parents to understand and set realistic goals for teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>We build credibility when we present evidence of our daily observations. </li></ul><ul><li>A documented paper trail. </li></ul><ul><li>Checklists along with informal assessment notes are beneficial. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Formal Assessments: <ul><li>School Readiness and/or Developmental Ages </li></ul><ul><li>DIAL R/DIAL 3 </li></ul><ul><li>ABC School Readiness Inventory </li></ul><ul><li>Child Development Inventories </li></ul><ul><li>Kaufman Survey of Early Academic and Language Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Kindergarten Readiness Test </li></ul>
  38. 38. What Are You Familiar With? <ul><li>Do you have specific assessments that you use for your age-level? </li></ul><ul><li>Likes/Dislikes? </li></ul><ul><li>Check out the Checklists!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Use what you are comfortable with. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Something FREE! <ul><li>Check this out! </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Free developmental checklists </li></ul><ul><li>Articles </li></ul><ul><li>Good for parents, too! </li></ul><ul><li>Great videos! </li></ul><ul><li>It really is something to check out!! </li></ul>
  40. 40. Take a look…
  41. 41. Something To Think About <ul><li>“ It’s not about how smart they are; it’s about how they are smart.” </li></ul><ul><li>Howard Gardner </li></ul><ul><li>Remember…teachers teach differently…all students learn differently. </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiation can happen naturally with a variety of materials and experiences…and the opportunity! </li></ul>
  42. 42. Questions To Ask… <ul><li>Do I take the time to observe children before I step in to “teach”? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I provide opportunities to use new understandings and skills in many different situations before moving to a new skill? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I provide enough open-ended activities? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I add or modify materials in Learning Centers as I perceive children are ready for a change? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I feel comfortable being challenged myself? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I provide activities that are developmentally appropriate? </li></ul>
  43. 43. A Few Ideas For Your Classroom: <ul><li>Trouble holding a pencil? </li></ul><ul><li>Use a golf ball! </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the regular things you already have in your classroom…and imagine the many different ways your students can use them and learn from them! </li></ul>
  44. 44. Word Configuration: <ul><li>Configuring print is a logical transition from 3-dimensional to 2-dimensional </li></ul><ul><li>It’s less stressful for a child’s eyes. </li></ul><ul><li>Helps distinguish “tall letters, short letters, and hang-below-the-line letters”! </li></ul>
  45. 45. Clothespin Names: <ul><li>Okay…so what does this teach? </li></ul><ul><li>We read and write from left-right </li></ul><ul><li>Fine motor development </li></ul><ul><li>Reading skill enhancement </li></ul><ul><li>Symbol-meaning relationship </li></ul>
  46. 46. Do You Have Anything To Share? <ul><li>You do a great job! </li></ul><ul><li>You have super ideas! </li></ul><ul><li>You can share with us, too! </li></ul>
  47. 47. View This Presentation! <ul><li>Want to have a copy of this exact presentation? </li></ul><ul><li>It’s FREE! </li></ul><ul><li>Print it out at </li></ul><ul><li>Look for the Educator’s Conference Section </li></ul><ul><li>Or… </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Copy and share as you’d like  </li></ul>
  48. 48. Hungry For More? <ul><li>Missouri District Early Childhood Educator’s Conference </li></ul><ul><li>March 6, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Immanuel Lutheran – Wentzville </li></ul><ul><li>Materials and Registration will be available in early January, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Ask your principal or director about attending!!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? Email Drew! </li></ul>
  49. 49. Keynote Speaker: <ul><li>Jim Gill </li></ul><ul><li>Jim uses music, fun, movement, literacy, and math to help engage students and assist in their learning. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>You won’t want to miss him! </li></ul>
  50. 50. Other Topics To Include: <ul><li>Developmentally Appropriate Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus – Morning, Noon, and Night </li></ul><ul><li>Make & Take </li></ul><ul><li>Say YES to NO! </li></ul><ul><li>Taking Care of Yourself – Avoiding Burnout </li></ul><ul><li>Sensory Issues and Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Music & Movement – A Compliment to Jim Gill </li></ul><ul><li>Much, much more! </li></ul>
  51. 51. Contact Info: <ul><li>Drew D. Gerdes </li></ul><ul><li>Kindergarten Teacher/EC Director </li></ul><ul><li>Redeemer/Springfield Lutheran School </li></ul><ul><li>Springfield, Missouri </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>