The first month of school is a great time to introduce or review with students ways to think about the way they learn. One is to have them take one of the on-line evaluations that show them how they learn best. See “What’s Your Learning Style?” Once students recognize that they process new information and demonstrate what they know in different ways, they are less likely to compare themselves to their peers. Instead, each student can be encouraged to maximize their learning strengths.
The information from these kinds of quizzes can help you, the teacher, better design lessons that help more students learn more quickly and deeply. When preparing to introduce new information, consider telling, showing, and doing. Present a mini-lesson that includes visuals and demonstrations. Then, before moving on to next new concept, allot time for students to practice what you’ve just taught.
This can be something as simple as retelling to a partner what they’ve now understand. It could be writing a summary sentence or two, putting into words what you’ve just taught. It could be writing an admit slip, acknowledging that there are portions of the mini-lesson the student does not yet comprehend.
REMEMBER, teaching is not complete until students learn. Otherwise, it’s just telling.