I have students keep an interactive notebook. One of the assignments is to take notes from readings in the textbook. I have tried a couple of different note taking methods, including Cornell notes. My "ah-ha" moment was on page 177 in the box that talks about note taking, include Cornell notes. I work to have a variety of activities in class to appeal to the various types of learning, but have required the same type of note taking in their notebooks. It was interesting to see how different types of learning prefer different types of note taking. I will definitely use that information when talking to the students about note taking this year. ( I teach seniors.)
In response to Valerie HarelsonJuly 16, 2014 at 9:50 AM, I too require students to keep an interactive notebook in science and always make studetns take notes the same way. I need to be more open minded on how students take notes and let them try their own method instead of always doing it my way..
Catherine Roth:In response to Valerie Harelson on July 16th:I agree-I was never successful with my elementary students taking notes in their subject notes books. I think that’s because I wasn’t a good note-taker when I was a young student. So I like the idea of the resident expert planner. I believe my 4th & 5th graders could easily become resident experts on Social Studies & Science topics and this planner gives some structure to their notebooks. You’re right about different learners need different ways-so I would give this as an option for students who would like to give it a try and I would highly encourage my gifted students to use the planner to take notes.
In response to Valerie... I am big on note taking, but seem to find it hard for students to take notes on their own because they don't understand how to decipher what is important and what is not. Sticky notes seem to help, but the note cards in research are really good.
I was a bit surprised to see that tactile kinesthetic learners compromised 80% of students recognized as struggling (p. 144). Most students aren't auditory learners (less than 25%), yet many classes are still being taught in the traditional lecture format. I wish this weren't so. Research has showed that it doesn't work as well, teachers have been shown it doesn't work, it is more work for the teacher and the students are less likely to actually learn.
Like Elizabeth, I was also surprised to learn that tactile kinesthetic learners are such a huge % of our struggling students. Other than the idea of using manipulatives, it would be interesting to have a range of strategies that can be used with these students that isn't time consuming. I have made card sets so students could review using a matching type game and there is acting out something that is being learned. What do other teachers do, particularly in the upper grades?
Anything that gets kids moving around and not sedentary helps them. The interactive notebooks that they used for World Geography at WAIS a few years ago were awesome. Kids really learned by becoming more involved in the process.
Like Elizabeth, I was surprised to learn that most of our struggling students are kinesthetic learners and I wonder if this has any connection to the ADHD epidemic that is sweeping the country.
I am not surprised that most of our struggling students are kinesthetic learners. I have found that my struggling students do well when they are allowed to discover new information...rather than it being taught through lectures.
My A-HA moment was regarding the note taking strategies discussed on page 177. In my science class i make my students take notes in the same way. This makes organization checks of their binder easy for me..If all pages in the binder are in the same format, i can easily give binder check grade. I was stunned to learn that different learning styles tend to lend themselves to different notetaking methods. This will be something i need to wok on this coming school year. I need to be more open in how I allow my students to take notes in their folders.
My A-HA moment came when I read the short section on Learning Centers, pg. 161. I think that the planning can get a little overwhelming and this made it seem simple and achievable in my own classroom. It made me think about how I choose my activities and how I might do it differently moving forward. Perhaps I will create centers based on "auditory, visual, tactile-kinesthetic and extension" and I can let the students choose - then everyone's needs would be met.
In response to moneyj on July 22, I also like the way learning centers are described in the book. It seems easier to manage and I liked how it includes tips about where to go for help and a rubric/evaluation criteria for the center. I think these two things would answer a lot of questions that students usually ask.
In response to moneyj, I also found this section very informative and helpful. I work so hard to create meaningful workstation activities that I tend to forget learning styles.
I was absolutely SHOCKED to see the percentile of kinesthetic learners in a classroom- 80%!! Holy moly! I knew most kids liked kinesthetic learning but had no idea how many...hopefully can incorporate more kinesthetic elements into my classroom this year.
In response to Charlotte McHale on July 22nd- wow I agree that this is a big percentage of all the learning styles. It will defiantly make me re-evaluate my teaching techniques.
In response to Stacey L and Charlotte McHale's comments on July 22 and 23, I had no idea of just how many kids were kinesthetic learners!! I will certainly re-evaluate my strategies.
In response to C. McHale's comments on July 22, it was 80% of the struggling students were tactile/kinesthetic. The good news then is the adjustment to teaching is best made to the group of kids identified as struggling. You will get the best bang for your time by altering methods with them while you meet with them in small group.
I was excited about the Socratic Seminars listed on page 161 - 163. This allows the building blocks to think to be used in a meaningful way. I think this is an excellent way for students to be able to present and speak on a topic with a specific guidelines.
In response to Stacey L on July 23, I agree about the interest in Socratic Seminars. I had a couple classes in college that were run this way and it generated a lot of spontaneous discussion that most people enjoyed. I think it would be interesting to see where high school students would take it.
I really like the note card method on page 178. I agree that many gifted students write down too much information during their research and this method helps them organize their information. I like that students are given parameters to help them find the best information to answer their questions. This is a skill that they can use throughout their entire education.
My A-ha moment came during the section on cluster grouping. When we group our kids at the end of the year, we cluster the GT children into two classrooms and then equally distribute the rest of the children by ability, including those who are far below average. I think it would be best to group them similar to the model page 195, where the GT children are clustered together and that same teacher does not have any children who are considered far below average.
I had two moments that made me think. First on pg. 144 where it discusses how few students are classified as auditory learners. It really challenges the common notion that if I say it, I've taught it. It would serve a lot of people well to see the research behind that statistic. Second, I found that the cooperative learning groups discussed on pg. 190 discuss a very interesting scenario. I had never heard of a school electing to put all of its gifted students in the same class. I've heard of and participated in pull-out programs, but never knew that it was even an option to see that a subset of students like that all had the same teacher for the benefit of working with each other.
I like the learning centers ideas on p. 161. I think having the choices of auditory, visual, tactile-kinesthetic, and extension centers will get the most stretch out of every child and they will enjoy what they are doing. I also like that they don't need to be elaborate and time consuming for the teacher.
I agree that the learning center idea can be used for every student. I love that the students get to pick what interests them and allows them to show their talents in a particular area.
My "AH-HA" moment came after the reading in the questions and answers section on p. 163. This is what gets all of us as teachers when we learn new things to implement in our classrooms, we freak out and look at it as adding more stuff and we don't have any more time to add stuff. I was reminded that it isn't added "stuff" if we swap more traditional methods of teaching with these great differentiated ways of teaching. I'm guilty of why change my teaching if it works. So, I will be more aware of trying and implementing the different methods I have learned from this book this year.
In response to bratliff on August 4-I am also going to attempt to try some of the strategies that I learned from reading this book. I am teaching a new grade level this year which will be the perfect time to implement one or two of the strategies.
In response to bratliff, this is so true. I too have the tendency to look at new strategies as more "work" on my part. I do like some of these strategies I am reading about. Some of them are too complex for the younger grades, but there are several I am interested in implementing.
My aha was on page 144. The discussion of the percentage of auditory learners-less than 25% and 80% of the struggling students are tactile-kinesthetic learners. I found this to be incredible that I, as a teacher, have spent so much time trying to create guided practice and independent practice around Bloom's taxonomy rather than on creating lessons that children can access. After all, if you have lots of lessons at the application level and higher but children can't access them-everyone loses.
I had a few "A-ha's" I was surprised to learn that teachers teach to the auditory learners and that most of our students are visual learners. I am also surprised at how many strategies that can be used in our class to provide differentiated activities for GT kids.
My a-ha moment was in chapter 6 about managing students in self-selected independent study projects. I liked how the student is in charge of their learning based upon their interest. I especially appreciated reading about how a project can be done in the primary grades. I will definitely use this with my GT students in the future.
Catherine Roth:I like the ‘ThinkTrix’ on pages 157-160. This seems like a manageable way to create the differentiated ‘activities’. I struggle with ‘coming up with’ enough activities for the gifted students to do-all centered around the same topic. The categories and the examples helped me think through how to create ways for gifted students to show what they know within a variety of topics. My other ‘a-ha’ is from chapter 7 about grouping gifted students. I think it is very interesting to think about the ‘Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model’ on pages 194-195. It reminds me of the old ‘tracking’ system that I grew up on-however, upon closer reading it is really about identifying a category that best suits the learner and then group the students accordingly. This would allow accommodations for all levels of ‘giftedness’ within a grade level. This is a topic I would like to pursue with my school leadership.
I found the idea of cluster grouping (pg. 194) intriguing. Some campuses split up their GT kids evenly throughout the grade level and others keep their GT kids in one group that moves together throughout the different grade levels. I have seen GT kids in isolation that don’t get the interaction they need from their peers and they become frustrated and disinterested in the class. I have seen clusters of GT kids thrive because they are being challenged and encouraged by someone at their same intellectual level. I agree with the cluster grouping and it works great at our school
Debbie B (August 20), The section on cluster grouping is interesting. I definitely agree with not mixing GT students with students well below grade level. I've experienced a 5th grade classroom with 1st grade level readers on up to 5th grade GT students. I felt like my GT students deserved more feedback and time than they received. I vowed to balance my time more fairly in the future.
My Ah-Ha moment was on page 193. Not all gifted students like working in groups and we should allow them to work on their own at certain times. I especially like when the author mentions that most adults only seek help from other adults when they need it. So with gifted children we must make sure they are given activities that challenge them enough to actually want to work in a group with others.
In response to NadiaD, I agree that some gifted students like to work alone. Even ask if they can. However a life skill is to be able to work cooperatively in a group and it is our job to help move them to this point.
There were many ideas in this section that I would like to implement, but my Ah-Ha moment came when I read about the Socratic Strategy. My students would love this!My goal is to become the facilitator and let my students roll through the sharing, discussing, and learning process with their peers. This method explains how to teach the students to lead their discussion as they respond to my questions. In the end, I would like them to write a "Final Thoughts" paper. I would enjoy reading their final thoughts at the conclusion of the session.
This was an interesting section for me. My ah-ha moment came when reading about the curriculum differentiation chart and taxonomy of thinking (pgs 144- 149). I think the hardest part of doing this strategy is coming up with potential activities for students to complete at the different cognitive levels. I thin this is a great strategy that provides choice for the gifted student (and all the others) while ensuring the appropriate cognitive level for both gifted and non gifted students while mastering the standards.
I loved the tiered learning experiences. This is a perfect fit with the Rigor and Relevance training we have been offered by the district. The Tiered Lesson Plan Chart example found on page 155 really makes the task less daunting.
I was most interested in the Tiered Learning Experience. I felt that this strategy could be used in most subject areas. I love that it allows for differentiation as well as choice. This is a great way for all students to feel empowered.