miércoles, 14 de marzo de 2012

Teaching practices 1

This year, taking into consideration the group I have, I decided to (or at least try to!) include all the learning styles in every single lesson planned, and it seems to be showing good results! I am doing my best to include kinesthetic, visual and auditory aspects in an integrated way everyday.
When time for planning came, I found that, taking into consideration the fact that one of my students can see very, very little and that most of the children found it hard to remain sitting down for a long pediod of time, it was a must to include catchy, funny and visually motivating activities as well as activities which imply moving around and doing things with the body in order to learn. Besides, some children seem to do much better when dealing with oral activities.
It was not easy at the very beginnig (and we are still learning how to cope with these changes) because this implies more noisy and less structured classroom dynamics, but we seem to be on the right track. Students are friendly and willing to learn and they have enjoyed the activities a lot!
I think that it is a challenge for us (teachers) to change some aspects of our teching, taking into consideration the children we ARE teaching, who do not seem to share much with us when we were kids. This implies that, most likely, the way we learned may not be the way in which THEY will learn best.
Sometimes I find that we set our minds on finishing the lesson plan or having all the copybooks corrected in time, instead of thinking of or reflecting on the way our students need to be taught.
I hope I can go on working this issue out and come up with better activities which promote real effective learning.

5 comentarios:

  1. Ceci, I have enoyed reading your reflection a lot! It is true that considering learning styles is a big issue not all the teachers take into account when planning. you are right when you say that we, as sts, have never been taught in that way; we were all taught in the same way and besides teachers expected the same from all the sts. Individual characteristics were not considered at all. Thanks god, things have changed for the better! Nowdays the last tendency is doing exactly what you are trying to do: including tasks with different styles to cater for all the needs in the group.
    Stewart and Felicetti (1992) define learning styles as those “educational conditions under which a student is most likely to learn.” Thus, learning styles are not really concerned with what learners learn, but rather how they prefer to learn." it is important, I think to vary the type of activities, not only to help each child, but also to show them a variety, as it is said in the quote in may cases,sts have preferences however, if they got to know different ways to learn they can also profit from them or they could even discover different ways to learn effectively. What do you think? Do you agree on the fact that if they are offered a variety they can discover that they are not only ...visual...but...something else?

  2. I DO agree with you!!! That's our challenge! After all, it's all about paving the way for them to discover who they really are and what they love doing! If the conditions for this to take place are set effectively, learning will take place on its own, naturally.

  3. Wow Ceci, what a great way to start the year! Catering for students learning styles is a real challenge. At the very beginning we tend to think that it is easy but it's not! I find myself using mostly the learning style that I belong to: kinaesthetic. It is really necessary to give sts the possibility of being taught in all the styles. Not only because they can "understand" better with their own style, but they can also train themselves to use the others and process the information through the 3 channels: kinaesthetic, auditory, visual.
    Apart from the learning styles there is another set of categorization which is very useful in the classroom. According to their personality traits or motivational traits: sts can be internally referenced (If they trust their own senses) or externally referenced (they need somebody else to guide them through life), matchers or mismatchers, towards objectives or away from problems, options (sts need to be given space to chose for themselves) or procedures (sts need to be guided throughout the activity), information (sts need to be given details of the task to be done) activity people (they need to plunge into the task!) etc.
    As you and Vivi very well said, we have a great variety of students in the class and each of them have their own ways of working reality out. We “just” need to give them enough options so that they are not left behind!
    Love, Dai

  4. Thanks Dai! I'll take this other categorization set into account!!

  5. Ceci,
    Your blog looks very cute and personal!!! As regards your first reflection I agree with you. Not all sts learn in the same way and at the same pace. They all have different learning styles and thats why we have to cater for the different 7 intelligences, what a challenge!!!

    Miss anne