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Memorandum

To:

504, Class at Large

From: Jerry Spencer Date:

April 30, 2011

Subject: WR4 Learning Styles: Assessment and Accommodation

As a general observation and upon personal reflection, the assignment details of how students receive and process information had not been a consideration in my preparation both in and for either teaching or learning. As all of us understand, “we don’t know what we don’t know”. By way of explanation, my last experience of concentrated and fulltime education occurred in 1976 when I completed graduate studies. With that timeline as a backdrop most of you can probably surmise that all my experience in a learning environment was essentially spent as a stenographer who was then required to memorize his notes in order to be able to write them back to my professors in exchange for an “A”. I therefore suspect my lack of awareness for this particular topic to be generational; as that’s just the way we were taught and how we learned way back then. During that time there was no regard for, nor as far as I know any great knowledge of various learning styles. As far as I knew there was one way to teach and one way to learn. This lesson was a worthwhile and eye-opening learning experience for me. I most certainly have observed during my brief 4 years of teaching that I had to try different ways to teach the same things to individual students. There is some gratification that I was able to recognize differences in learning styles of my students and that I was able to instinctively approach them with the same material in other ways that they could understand. However, I can only think what would have been the results for many of my kids had I adopted an attitude that only those who could sit through a lecture and give the information back to me as I taught them were bright enough and therefore worthy of a high mark. Yet I wonder how many times that has been the norm? Looking back as a learner I can say without question that many of my fellow students were likely mislabeled or pigeon-holed as slow or non-learners because they didn’t flourish within a particular system of teaching. This lesson allowed me to comprehend what I have seen but was unable to define with my own kids. With that as a background here is what I learned from my taking the learning styles and multiple intelligence tests. Given my age and exposure to only one style of teaching I


genuinely expected to see results heavily skewed with great variations favoring a single mode of learning. I continue to be surprised at what was revealed. Marcia Connor’s “What’s Your Learning Style” Auditory

5

Visual

4

Tactile/Kinesthetic

3

"One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Not Necessarily" by Harry Reinert Visualization

Written Word

0

Listening

-1

Activity

0

+1

Howard Gardner’s MI Model Kinesthetic 38

Interpersonal 38

Musical 37 Visual 33

Logical-Mathematical 36

Linguistic 33

Intrapersonal 28

For me the most useful exercise would be Reinert’s ELSIE test. In fact the take-away line for me was “When one looks at these scores, one begins to realize that when we "teach to the middle," we miss just about everyone in class by varying degrees.” By extension I can see that “teaching to the middle” is a lazy way to teach. It’s exciting to me that by understanding differences in learning styles and now being able to attach strategies to mitigate those differences I can be so much more effective in my teaching. Additionally and a parallel thought to what I noted in a prior paragraph was this quote, “the diversity between individuals now appears to be so much greater than has generally been recognized that one begins to suspect that many slow learners are "slow" only because they have never had a chance to learn in the way in which they could have learned.” I am truly encouraged to know that I can strategically target varied learning styles with lesson planning that will create circumstances for all my learners with achievable goals and provide in the very best way possible for their overall success. Moving forward with strategies for various learners, visual learners will tend to have a mental image of an object or activity and learn through seeing, generally having a mental


image of an object or activity. Some basic strategies for teaching to this learning style would include visual materials such as pictures, charts, maps, graphs, etc. Those learners would probably tend to benefit from having a clear view of their teacher when they are speaking so as to be able to read their body language and facial expressions. With handouts and other materials we can use color to highlight important points in text to provide handouts and illustrate our ideas as a picture or brainstorming bubble before writing them down. The use of multi-media (e.g. computers, videos, and filmstrips, power point) would be of great benefit. Those students should be encouraged to study in a quiet place away from verbal disturbances and read illustrated books. Auditory Learners learn through listening and learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to the spoken word. This learning group interprets the meanings of speech through listening to the intonation of the speaker along with his diction, cadence and several other visual and verbal cues. Written information may have little meaning until it is heard. These learners often benefit from reading text aloud and hearing it played back to them. Auditory learners should be drawn out in class discussions and nudged to deliver speeches and presentations. Encourage them to set and create snappy jingles that could aid in memorization. Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners learn through moving, doing and touching which employs a hands-on approach that lends itself to exploring the physical realm of learning and remembering. These learners may be unable to sit still for long periods of time and could be somewhat easily distracted. Short, focused lessons should be the main form of delivery with routinely scheduled small breaks. This learner would appreciate a bright workplace with lots of tastefully utilized posters and colored highlights of key points. These learners tend to be able to comprehend and recall even after listening to music while they work. As noted earlier I would prefer using Reinert’s tests for my class because I believe the results may be more trustworthy but I also believe the Multiple Intelligences test would be simpler and better received by my class. I will test them both in order to make a determination.

504 Lesson Plan Form WR4 Learning Styles, Extra Credit Scholar:__ Jerry Spencer Subject :__ Retail Sales & Marketing _________ Lesson Topic: What is Ethics?


Student Performance Objective: By the end of this lesson students will be able to (describe, define, explain) • •

Describe what would be a working definition of ethics? Define ethics and morals. Are they the same things?

Describe how ethics and morals influence personal and community values?

Explain some fundamental ethical principals that transcend all people?

Anticipatory Set or Mental Readiness: Describe the introduction to the lesson you will use to get the students involved in the lesson Address Students: You have been offered a part-time job at the dry cleaner. You are delighted and accept the job. The next day you receive a call from a local accounting firm offering you a part-time job. The pay is the same as the job at the dry cleaner, but the hours would be better at the accounting firm. More importantly, you want to be an accountant and think that you would receive practical experience working at the accounting office; plus, it would look good on your college application. What do you do? Is there an ethical dilemma here? What is it? Knowing what the right thing to do is not the same as doing the right thing. Ethical dilemmas flood the daily headlines. Do you have a code of ethics that will guide you in your decision-making process and keep you out of the headlines? OR the teacher reads a headline of the local newspaper that entails an ethical question or situation, shares this with the students and asks what the ethical dilemma is here. Ask students: What would you do?

Instructional Components: Include type of lesson and major concepts to be covered After each component identify the specific learning style the component is designed to accommodate. 1. Reading assignment: Pamphlet from the U. S. Chamber of Commerce on Ethics and Business (Reading learner) 2. Lecture: Through an open discussion with the students and general lecture, define ethics. Write the examples, ideas and definition on the board. (Auditory Learner) 3. Handout of power point for following along and mark-up: Use the Ethics, Values and Morals power point to help spark the discussion with a follow-along presentation. Include the ideas of values, beliefs, morals, principles, and the concepts of right and wrong. (Visual Learner) 4. Activity: In small groups, have the students define three general ethical principles and create a


diagram/drawing that outlines why the chosen principles have universal qualities. Direct student groups to “jigsaw” the short reading exercise, Business Ethics The Foundation of Effective Leadership. Instruct each student to read a short passage silently and then explain the key points of that passage to their group. Assign a group role (recorder, gatekeeper, and moderator) to each student and discuss the entire reading. Make a two-column chart. On the left side list five ethical business behaviors based on the reading. On the right side, compare and contrast the students’ own ethical practices. List whether the students agree or disagree with the ethical behavior standards they read about and state why. Consider the following questions in the discussion. (Kinesthetic/Psychomotor learner)

Check for Understanding and/or Guided Practice and Independent Practice: Activity: Make a two-column chart. On the left side list five ethical business behaviors based on the reading. On the right side, compare and contrast the students’ own ethical practices. List whether the students agree or disagree with the ethical behavior standards they read about and state why. Consider the following questions in the discussion. Why it is important to use ethical behavior? Why would someone want to be ethical in his or her own life or at work? What steps should you follow to make ethical decisions? Are these realistic guidelines for students to follow? Are these realistic guidelines for adults to follow? Would these guides make a difference for your decision-making? Survey Monkey Questionnaire Online: Choose the correct answer for each question Closure: "Are there any questions?" is NOT an adequate closure Students will divide into four groups in order to Google recent articles for reference that involved ethical and moral issues. Construct a one-page report on the issue. The moderator will read each report and by vote a winner will be determined. All members of the winning team receive a coupon for a free Chick-filA sandwich. In the event of a tie the teacher casts the deciding vote! Materials Needed: Video, worksheets, overhead, computer, quiz, etc. Computer with overhead Power Point Presentation & handout Internet access


Computer lab Handout on “Business Ethics-The Foundation of Effective Leadership� Method of Evaluation: How will students be evaluated and what methods will be used to measure competency? Students will be given a test with multiple choice questions, matching, completion and true/false (total 25 questions). Students must score 60% to pass.


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