1. For students who take in information with their senses: When presenting lessons:
- Include specifics, facts, and details, show why it is realistic and makes sense.
- Include real life applications and examples of where this has worked before.
2. Some students must have the big picture, or an integrating framework, to understand a subject. Give them an overview of the day’s lesson(s) at the beginning. Put information in context.
3. Some students are decisive, planful, and self-regimented. They focus on completing the task, only want to know the essentials, and take action quickly (perhaps too quickly). Teach these students:
- Split Page Color Coded Notes (They love organizational systems)
- Remind Judging types to check their answers and take a second look when solving problems.
4. Other learning styles often postpone doing an assignment until the very last minute. They seek information to the very last minute (and sometimes beyond). For these students, break down assignments and teach them to use graphic organizers.
5. Logical, justice-oriented students like clear course and topic objectives.
- Structure the class material logically.
- Be succinct. Teachers who ramble lose thinking students.
6. Interpersonal, values-based students like working in groups, especially harmonious groups.
- To promote harmonious groups, provide students with guidelines on how to work best in a group.
- Show the “people” impact of what’s being taught, especially its importance to the individuals involved.
7. Extraverted students learn by explaining to others. They do not know if they understand the subject until they try to explain it to themselves or others. Allow time for participation and discussion. Use Think, Pair, Shares and Peer Assisted Learning.
8. Introverted students want to develop frameworks that integrate or connect the subject matter. To engage Introverts:
- Provide written materials ahead – especially if you want discussion or decisions immediately.
- Pause when asking for response – 20 seconds is effective (but hard for Extroverts.)
9. For Visual Spatial Learners, make a visual organizer or memory model of the material being learned (Give copies to other students in the class).
10. For Musical Rhythmic Learners, create “raps” for key dates, math, etc.
11. For Naturalist Learners, sort and classify content in relation to the natural world.
12. For Body Kinesthetic Learners, create hands-on projects and conduct hands-on experiments.
For more information on differentiation strategies to reach ALL learners, see Susan Fitzell’s book, Special Needs in the General Classroom, Strategies That Make It Work. Available in both print and electronic versions!
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