posted by TLH on 05/21/2011 09:31 PM EDT
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Standards with Style and Built-in Local, State, Regional, National, and Global Sharing Networks
Idea: I propose a web site or phone app resource for teachers that has a simple assessment tool to first help identify the type of learner each student is and then provides a database of ideas and material that offers options and suggestions for teaching specific state standard topics (or core curriculums) based on a child’s learning style(s).
Given: Teachers have to teach to each state’s standards.
Given: Children learn in different ways.
Given: Technology affords teachers and students opportunities to share information and ideas on both a small and large scale.
What makes this program different from other such databases would be the wide range of learning style options available for the teacher to choose from and the accompanying student activities/projects that would be designed or customized to focus on local, state, regional, national and/or global themes.
Learning styles would include the following group options for the teacher to select from (please reference the Teaching English Web site, “Learning Styles and Teaching,” by TE Editor, September 8, 2010, http://www.teachingengligh.org.uk):
- Bandler’s and Grinder’s Four Modalities, namely visual, for learners who best remember what they see; auditory learners, who best remember what is heard; the kinesthetic learner who learns best by doing and experimenting; or tactile learners who learn best by using their hands and fingers; or
- Field Independent (tends to be self-reliant for problem solving) vs. Field dependent (tends to rely on others’ ideas for solving problems); or
- Left-brain oriented (tends to be intellectual, objective) vs. right-brain oriented (tends to intuitive and subjective); or
- McCarthy’s Learning Styles, namely: innovative learners, who look for personal meaning while learning; analytic learners, who want to develop intellectually while learning; common sense learners, who want to find solutions; and dynamic learners, who look for hidden possibilities.
Since some students may utilize multiple learning styles, providing students with a variety of learning options is sure to help enhance each student’s learning experience. And while it’s important to match each student to an appropriate learning style, it would also be important to encourage extending each student’s learning style. Exposure to a variety of learning styles by each student would help to build each student’s skill set and better prepare them for real-world situations where they would encounter and have to deal with varying types of work styles, for example. I have been referring to this extending option as the “Branch Out Button” or “BOB.”
Example 1: For the Primary Grades. Topic – Identify a well-balanced meal. Utilizing the Four Modalities and incorporating local, state, regional, national and global idea sharing.
After determining each student’s learning style, the teacher enters the state standard, the topic and the grade level into the “Standards with Style” database. Information and suggestions for the topic “Identifying a well-balanced meal” then appear for each type of learning style and might include: watching a demonstration of a meal being prepared - for the visual learners; learning and singing a song about the importance of fruits and vegetables – for the auditory learner; preparing an actual meal – for kinesthetic learners; or drawing a picture of the ideal well-balanced meal – for tactile learners.
On a local level, Standards With Style schools in the same town might link up to do some type of student survey where the students gather and chart information about the meals they each prepared. On a state level, students in the same grades at different schools might get together via computer or video conferencing to solicit names to propose legislation for a state fruit or vegetable. Regionally, students might gather family recipes for a regional cookbook. Nationally and globally, they could video connect with other Standard with Style students to seek out a common food item and determine how it is uniquely prepared and eaten in different areas of the country or the world.
Example 2: For the Middle School Grades Topic – Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras, and ideas. Utilizing the Four Modalities and incorporating local, state, regional, national and global idea sharing.
After determining each student’s learning style, the teacher enters the state standard, the topic and the grade level into the “Standards with Style” database. Information and suggestions for the topic “Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras, and ideas” then appear for each of the learning styles and might include: For visual learners - reading Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and then watching the movie Westside Story. Students then should analyze, interpret and compare the genres and the range of cultural traditions between the two presentations. For the auditory learner - listen to the score and background music of a movie based on a classic piece of literature—such as “Pride and Prejudice.” Identify, analyze and interpret the tone and message being conveyed. Follow up by writing your own lyrics to a song that presents similar themes and messages. For kinesthetic learners – practice and present a scene or two from a movie or play that is based on a classic piece of literature—such as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Discuss and write about why you chose what you did and what motivated or influenced the character you portrayed. For tactile learners – read a book such as “Pride and Prejudice.” Draw portraits of what you envision each main character within the book to look like based on the book’s descriptions and the actions of each character. Include a listing of character traits and a complete character analysis for each.
On a local level, Standards With Style schools in the same town might link up via a common web site to do some type of student survey where the students gather and chart information about their research on comparing story genres, etc. On a state level, students in the same grades but at different schools might get together via computer or video conferencing to share and discuss their musical score selections, lyrics and analysis; Regionally, students could get together to perform scenes or present a play. And nationally and globally, students could take each other on video tours of their areas and share their thoughts and analysis on the material being reviewed. Students in a Standards with Style school in Chicago, for example, might even connect with a Standards with Style classroom in London to discuss their ideas and interpretations on a similar book they have both been reading and studying.
Benefit 1: Students will feel more empowered to learn and will enjoy increased self-esteem and confidence.
Benefit 2: Students will learn concepts and ideas more efficiently and effectively.
Benefit 3: Students would be better able to understand their role and their connections as a local, national and global citizen.
Benefit 4: Students will be encouraged to learn about, understand, and utilize learning styles, other than their predominant style, to better prepare them for real-world situations and interactions.
Benefit 5: This program would encourage local, state, regional, national and global interactions, idea sharing and cooperation between students.
Benefit 6: Teachers will have the option of selecting from a variety of learning style options to best suit their classroom and teaching needs.
Benefit 7: This program would encourage local, state, regional, national and global interactions, idea sharing and cooperation between teachers.
Benefit 8: Teachers will spend less time doing research and classroom prep and have more time to work directly with students.
Benefit 9: This resource could be used for all K-12 grade levels.
Benefit 10: This resource could regularly be updated and tweaked as needed to incorporate new technologies and information.
Benefit 11: This resource could be used to enhance all of Houghton Mifflin’s products as well as other educational publisher’s products.
Benefit 12: This resource would allow for cross-marketing of other Houghton Mifflin products.
Benefit 13: This resource would have world-wide distribution possibilities.
Tags: learning styles, state standards, web site, phone app, resource for teachers, idea sharing network, empowering students
Last Modified on: 05/28/2011 05:27 AM EDT
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Posted By Dorit
Nice idea. However, check out Renzulli learning - it offers something similar.
posted by TLH on 05/25/2011 08:12 PM EDT
Thank you for your input. I did some additional research and looked into the Renzulli Learning program that you mentioned. I have fine-tuned and updated my idea to better differentiate it and to make it unique. If you get a chance I would very much like your thoughts. Thank you again.
Posted By Dorit
I am seeing the global collaboration aspect different than Renzulli. Any thing else?...
posted by TLH on 05/27/2011 03:03 PM EDTAlso offering a variety of learning style options for teachers to choose from. In addition to visual, auditory, etc., teachers can select from right-brained vs. left-brained learning style activities; field independent vs. field dependent projects; or innovative, analytic, common sense or dynamic learner style resources. This revised version would also include ways to have students "branch out" from their predominate or preferred learning style so they will be better prepared to interact in real-world situations and different work styles they might encounter.