Different learners

Different Brains, Different Learners

“Different Brains, Different Learners” encapsulates the raison d’être for differentiated classrooms. Simply put, every brain of every learner is different. Students know different stuff, have been to different places, read different books, and prefer different pastimes, hobbies, and sports. Thus, it follows that every brain learns differently because it harbors a different schema. It has connected and chunked different patterns of facts, knowledge, and understanding.

In the search of differentiated strategies for the plethora of diverse learners that are part and parcel of every school and most classrooms, there are five categories to consider. Each has its own sets of talents and limitations, and each has the individual personalities of strengths and weakness to address. Among the five are:

  • Developing Learners…who are still moving into their fullness
  • Struggling Learners…who already have a legacy of learning difficulties
  • English Learners…who are catching up on language
  • Advanced, Gifted, and Talented Leaners…who know, are bored by, and are biding time with present material
  • SPED Learners…who need specific agendas for their identified talents and special needs

Different Strokes for Different Folks: Strategies for Diverse Learners

Brief listings of effective teaching & learning strategies to revisit or try on. In addition, a targeted picture book is named to use metaphorically with teachers, parents, and students.

Developing Learners: “Leo, the Late Bloomer”-Kraus

  • Identify and Make-up Gaps
  • Direct Instruction
  • Structured Activities
  • Concrete Activities
  • Fewer Steps
  • Close to Experience
  • Simpler Reading
  • Deliberate Pace

Struggling Learners: “Falling Through the Cracks”-Sollmon

  • Identify and Make-up Gaps
  • Direct Instruction
  • Structured Activities
  • Concrete Activities
  • Fewer Steps
  • Close to Experience
  • Simpler Reading
  • Deliberate Pace
  • High Interest

English Learners: “The Five Chinese Brothers”-Wise

  • Cooperative Buddy-Strong Learner
  • Translation Partner
  • Visuals, Graphic Organizers
  • Pictures, Drawings
  • Root words
  • Gestures, Pantomime
  • Completion vs Construction
  • Internet self-correcting activities

Advanced, Talented, Gifted: Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge”Foxx

  • Skip Mastered Material
  • Complex Activity
  • Open-ended Activity
  • Abstract Activity
  • Multifaceted Activity
  • Advanced Reading
  • Activity with Depth
  • Compact Information
  • Advanced Placement

SPED-Special Needs:“What’s Wrong with Timmy”-Shiver

  • Individual Education Plan
  • Classroom Aide
  • Peer Tutor, Cooperative Partner
  • Specialists, Resource Teachers
  • Software Feedback Tools
  • Classroom Environment
  • Customized Furniture
  • Parent Involvement
  • Facilities Modifications
  • Appropriate Materials

Robin J. Fogarty

Robin J. Fogarty, PhD, has trained educators throughout the world in curriculum, instruction, and assessment strategies. She has taught at all levels, served as an administrator, and consulted with state departments and ministries of education.

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