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Angela DiGioia's picture

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I was reading Jessica's post above thinking how often I am the opposite of her in that I make connections out loud and am that person who shares what I'm thinking at any given moment, even if it's not well formed.  In fact, I think that I've become self-conscious of this aspect of myself and have had to learn how to keep my mouth shut (which can be difficult for my extroverted self).  I think that this is one of the precise difficulties of being a teacher and figuring out how to make material applicable to real life things and also how to gauge if a child has made that connection if they are not extroverted.  There has to be a line somewhere between personal anecdotal information that is shared in the goal of making information more emotional and applicable and personal information that may get a bit too personal.  Children do not have this ability to delineate between appropriate and not, which is why young children will ask any strage/crazy question or make a comment without remorse.  So, the dilemma for teachers is how to cultivate the curiosity that young children have and come up with new ways for them to express themselves (if a student is not a verbal learner and would rather write, for example) that makes the information that's being taught personal in some way.  Maybe it's taking 5 minutes to draw a picture of what they think of when a new concept is introduced, even if it's multiplication, for example, because then the student has that personal image in their mind as the information is being taught to them and it becomes more memorable.  This way, even if a student isn't passionate about multiplication, they remember that they learned it and what image they had in their mind when it was introduced. Every child doesn't have to be passionate about everything but they are more knowledgeable about what they are not passionate about when they associate information with a personal story/memory/idea which they are able to call upon at a later point in time when the given topic comes up again.

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