How Do We Learn?

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SWBAT use their independent research to meet in groups and discuss their learning style.

Big Idea

How do we learn? Students will work with others that share their learning style to come up with three ways they learn best, as well as successful learning experiences from their past.

Extended Wide Reading: Getting "settled" in a text.

25 minutes

On the first day of the week, students get comfortable and settle into their weekly text. It is almost like a bonding time between students and a book. Get comfy!

During this time, I also pass out lottery tickets for students who have brought back their text from the previous week and turned in their reading log on time.

Lottery Tickets

Here is a link to my independent reading strategy folder that includes more ideas for supporting independent reading in your classroom.


Five Minute Focus Read: Log Set Up

10 minutes

Here is a video to explain the Five Minute Focus Read.

Read more about this step in this lesson's second section.

Group Work: Finding our Common Thread

25 minutes

Today, students will go into small groups to work together to complete this Group Worksheet: Learning Styles. I use the exit slip data from the Musical Learner Group Work Discussion.

As a group, they discuss and complete the worksheet.

They compete the worksheet, which basically allows them to find the common thread in between all of the members. What is nice is at the start of the lesson, those students may not have realized they all shared the same learning style! However, at the end, some of the members are newly connected. This is such a personal topic and students didn't have a ton of background on Gardner's Theory, so they were very invested in hearing more. What they brought to the group was background on how they, personally, learned. Also, they had some research from the day prior. I videotaped a few group conversations that caught my attention, but this was one of those days wished I could have been everywhere at once!

Visual Spatial Group Work Discussion

Musical Learner Group Work Discussion 

As a group, they discuss and complete the worksheet.


Wrap Up: What did you notice?

10 minutes

As an entire class, we chat about the patterns we noticed in small groups. What were the traits we all had in common? What were meaningful learning activities that resonated with the group? How did you decide which learning style you belonged in?

Here a student was asked, what way do you learn best?

She explains in the video.

I think its important for all students to not only express the type of learner they are, but also to listen to and acknowledge all of their classmate's diverse learning styles. They understand that there are many different ways to learn, and that just because a certain activity works for them, doesn't mean it is the best way for their peers to learn. It builds empathy and understanding in the classroom. It is fascinating when the kids begin to uncover how the learn. I love to watch them have these "aha moments."