Sousa and Tomlinson outline tons of other great comparisons and examples in the book. There are a lot of great specific situations that got me really thinking about student learning profiles.
The book had an image representing the male and female brains that showed which areas were activated during language processing. It was fascinating to see that the male and female brains physically respond differently to the same input.
It's really important to think about the way you differentiate your instruction based on preferences, culture, and gender.
The authors recommend videotaping yourself to review your own teaching style. Since most teachers teach the way they learn themselves, you may not realize you are missing certain groups.
Are you offering help to those few boys who may never ask for it? Are you assuming that the quiet student is slacking off by not contributing to the class discussion, when really it may be respectful behavior from his/her point of view?
To help start to identify student learning styles, I put together a quick Learning Style Profile sheet for the kids to fill out.
Download the Student Learning Profile Sheet here.
The way I structured this is to lead smoothly into differentiating using these preferences.
If your kids do this worksheet, you will get an idea of each learning style in your classroom, but you can also use the information for grouping.
Use the students' responses to group them this way:
Each student will be an A, B, or C:
Each will also identify themselves as either D or E:
The survey will also identify each student as F, G, or H:
Now, you can group your students to work with others that have similar learning styles, OR you can mix up some great groups that have a variety of learning profiles.
Some Keys to Differentiating by Learning Styles:
These are the main takeaways that I want to work on from this chapter:
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