This week we learned a lot about different learning styles and meeting the needs of ALL learners. Luckily, much of this is just a brush-up or review of things that I have to deal with daily. Since I teach special education, I deal with different learning styles and disabilities in everything that they do. My students have a range of identified disorders from: attention, visual processing, auditory processing, sensory-motor skills, and cognitive abilities. I seem to notice that many of my students have auditory processing disorders. I am very similar to these students because I don’t learn as well by hearing something taught. I find that I am very high when things are presented visually. Technologies/strategies that help me learn (and that I use with my students often) are: online videos, Powerpoint presentations, using my ELMO to show the worksheet that we are working on the board, and using highlighting/marking tools. I often have my students view online video presentations regarding the lesson I just taught. There are usually 2-4 videos that show different ways to teach the lesson I just taught. This gives the students a visual tool that they can play back at home. Our worksheets have QR codes that can be scanned to link to these videos. Showing different ways of “solving” or completing problems, helps them understand the materials more. I also really love Powerpoint presentations. I am able to take notes and understand the materials more when it is presented this way. I especially like (since I am a tactile/kinesthetic learner as well) when the presentation is printed so that I can take notes next to the slides. Using my ELMO in class is helpful to myself and my students because they don’t always listen well. They need to see how to solve the problems to fully understand them. I also use this with my highlighting/markup because using different colors or shapes helps them visualize solving. For example, on combining like terms, we circle like terms with x’s. We know to combine only the ones circled. Then, we would square the constants by themselves and combine only the ones squared together. This helps them see what to combine together.
I really have difficulty with auditory processing (and so do my students). However, I know that there are some strategies that are helpful for this arena. One such strategy is making it into a song. I have created (found) math songs for my students to help them remember things such as the quadratic formula. That helps me a lot when learning things that are auditory. Another thing I have used in classes (in college) is a tape recorder. That way I can relisten to the lecture at pause/rewind at any time. Another helpful tool for students with auditory processing difficulties is to close their eyes and visualize the words. This can help a lot for me. I need to stop and see the words in my head to memorize what was being said. The last thing that helps my students with auditory processing difficulties is preferred seating. Seating them near the front and limiting noise distractions help them concentrate. While I am teaching, I also have them echo back things that I have said. This helps them memorize what they heard out loud.