Types of Learning

What type of learner is your child? Be in the know about different types of learning and which classrooms are best suited for each type. What is project-based learning? Cooperative Learning? Would your child benefit from a blended learning experience? Explore these teaching techniques and learn how they could improve your child’s performance.
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Project-based learning is a unique type of pedagogy that moves beyond the traditional “memorize and regurgitate information” approach that is commonly seen in classrooms today. Project-based learning brings relevancy and practical application to the lesson, by making students active participants, rather than mere bystanders. Although project-based learning is still used on a relatively limited basis today, there are a number of reasons why educators might want to consider incorporating this methodology into their classrooms.
A Definition of Project-Based Learning
According to the West Virginia Department of Education, project-based learning involves students coming together in groups or working individually to explore real-world problems. Through their explorations, students create presentations that sum up what they learned and their proposed solutions to those problems. Teachers in project-based learning classrooms serve as facilitators and guides, helping students find answers to questions without spoon feeding the answers directly to them.
The Edutopia website explains that project-based learning comes from the belief that students learn best by becoming active participants in the education process. The methodology involves the following:
       ·      Students using knowledge learned to tackle problems experienced in the real world
       ·      Students exercising more control over their learning environment
       ·      Students typically working in groups or pairs, although individual projects can also be used
       ·      Teachers serving as coaches to encourage student reflection and problem-solving skills
Project-based learning is similar to problem-based learning, which presents students with a real-world problem and allows them to explore possible solutions. However, in project-based learning, there is a final product at the end. The final presentation may be a poster, video or other actual product, which allows students to master additional skills as they put the information together and determine the best way of presenting the material to the rest of the class.
Project-based learning is much more student-directed than traditional teaching methods. In this model, students determine how to address the real-world problem they are presented with. They are tasked with the responsibility of finding their own answers to questions that arise, and they determine what sort of . . . read more
When a child begins to struggle academically, the problem may be out of a parent’s scope of expertise. This may be the time to consider a tutor to help a student over the rough patch.  How do you know which tutor will be able to offer the most help to your child?  Start by asking these 10 questions before determining which professional will meet your child’s specific needs best.
Which subject is causing the most difficulty?
Before considering a tutor for your child, it is important to identify the specific areas in which your child needs help. This typically involves a conference with the teacher to determine which subjects are causing your child the most difficulty. Reading should be evaluated first, since reading troubles can cross into other subjects as well. Math and science are also common subjects requiring tutoring, according to Education News Colorado.
Does my child face organizational or academic challenges?
For some students, school issues are pointedly academic in nature, such as the child who is struggling with reading or sums. However, if you notice your child is performing well on tests, but showing more difficulty with homework, the cause of the problem could be more organizational than academic. Does your child have trouble keeping track of assignments? Does he complete assignments but fail to turn them in? Organizational issues may require a different type of tutoring than academic problems.
Is the tutor trained to work with children with learning disabilities?
If your child has a learning disability, such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorder (ADD), you need to find a tutor who specializes in helping children with similar issues, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities. These disabilities require a set of coping mechanisms to help a child overcome the deficit. Tutors should have a bag of tricks to use to help these children stay focused during tutoring sessions, as well as tools the child can use to make learning easier and more successful.
Is test preparation the largest obstacle my . . . read more
A wealth of resources and web site links for all subject areas for kindergarten teachers.
  • Shape Book Patterns - A to Z Shape Book Patterns with and without lines
  • Literacy Sites available en francais and English - Literacy Center offers a fun and interactive site where early learners can explore numbers, letters, colours and shapes in English and French.
  • CENTER SIGNS - A wonderful site. Every sign you can think of ! Great for labeling ~
  • Internet4classrooms - Online Interactive Web Sites ~ Literacy and Math ~ For use as Independent Skill Activities during Center Time
  • More Sequenced Lesson Plans from Utah - Looking for ideas and formal lesson plans and activites for your core curriculum then do check this one out!
  • BACKFLIP Kinder Collection
  • Carls Corner - 'Where kids play and teachers learn' Literacy
  • FRENCH sites - FSL Activities with M. Renaud
  • KINDERGARTEN ~ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Includes Kindergarten systems of various countries, functions of Kindergarten, what should kindergarten activities include, readings and external links
  • Kindergarten Rubrics - In writing and science..can be modified and adapted
  • Kindergarten Web Site...ings of the Day - Check in here frequently for new additions!
  • Mrs. McCullers' Top Dog Blog - Kindergarten Blogs ... you made a great job for your Blog.
  • Kindergartenconsultant.com - Kindergarten Consultant
  • Kindergarten Web Sit...ings of the Day -
  • Songs 4 Teachers - Back to School - Presents songs & poems for 'Back to School' and more!
  • Teacher.Net Lesson Plans - A plethora of lesson plans and ideas.
  • Tracking Templates - GREAT TOOL . . . read more
Cooperative learning is a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a team is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it. 

Cooperative efforts result in participants striving for mutual benefit so that all group members:

  • gain from each other's efforts. 
  • recognize that all group members share a common fate.
  • know that one's performance is mutually caused by oneself and one's team members. 
  • feel proud and jointly celebrate when a group member is recognized for achievement. 
Why use Cooperative Learning?

Research has shown that cooperative learning techniques:

  • promote student learning and academic achievement
  • increase student retention
  • enhance student satisfaction with their learning experience
  • help students develop skills in oral communication
  • develop students' social skills
  • promote student self-esteem
  • help to promote positive race relations

5 Elements of Cooperative Learning It is only under certain conditions that cooperative efforts may be expected to be more productive than competitive and individualistic efforts.

Those conditions are:

1. Positive Interdependence   (sink or swim together)

  • Each group member's efforts are required and indispensable for group success
  • Each group member has a unique contribution to make to the joint effort because of his or her resources and/or role and task responsibilities

2. Face-to-Face Interaction  (promote each other's success)

  • Orally explaining how to solve problems
  • Teaching one's knowledge to other
  • Checking for understanding
  • Discussing concepts being learned
  • Connecting present with past learning

3. Individual & Group Accountability ( no hitchhiking! no social loafing)

  • Keeping the size of the group small. The smaller the size of the group, the greater the individual accountability may be.
  • Giving an individual test to each student.
  • Randomly examining students orally by calling on one student to present his or her group's work to the teacher (in the presence of the group) or to the entire class.
  • Observing each group and recording the . . . read more
STEM education, the teaching of subjects related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is an essential component to preparing the workforce of the future. However, it appears schools across the country are failing to answer that call. Few primary and secondary schools are offering courses in these subjects that directly apply to the workforce needs of today, and even where courses are available, they are still not considered part of the core curriculum. The good news is that as gurus in these industries begin to sit up and take notice of the gap in our education system, some schools are also rising up in an effort to bring STEM studies to public education.

STEM is not widely embraced by the public education system in the U.S. currently. According to a report at U.S. News and World Report, only 2,100 high schools out of 42,000 currently offer the Advanced Placement test in computer science. This number is actually down 25 percent over the past five years. In addition, few states allow computer science to be taken to meet a math or science requirement. Only nine states allow computer science to be used as a core class that goes toward meeting graduation requirements.
“It will get you just as close to graduation as it will if you take woodworking,” Brad Smith, executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs at Microsoft, told U.S. News and World Report. “I love wood, but it’s not the future of our economy,” Smith added.
STEM Solutions 2012
One year ago, U.S. News and World Report decided to tackle the STEM issue head-on, by establishing STEM Solutions 2012. The project was designed to look at why there are so many unfilled jobs in this country at a time when unemployment is at a record high. As researchers began digging, one fact became apparent – lack of training for in-demand fields was contributing to the disconnect between unemployment and job openings. The project, which involved more than 1,600 people involved in education or STEM industries, made . . . read more
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