Magazine article School Arts

A Flagged Town & a Long Winding Road

Magazine article School Arts

A Flagged Town & a Long Winding Road

Article excerpt

Someone said to me recently, "Surely you don't show your students a finished example of the lesson that you are teaching. Don't they just copy it?"

"No," I answered, "they do not just copy. They create."

Some of my students have attention problems, short-term memory difficulties, auditory-processing difficulties, eye-hand coordination deficits, difficulty with sensory integration or central nervous system dysfunction. Each student has individual weaknesses and strengths. To varying degrees, these differences can be found in any school setting.

Each of my students learns in a different way. Some children can easily understand step-by-step explanations of a process. These sequential learners prefer to receive information bit by bit. They can remember lots of guidelines about materials, colors, composition, unity and subject matter. For others, verbal instruction alone leaves them confused and bemused. Many of these students can look at a finished product and work backwards. They can figure out in their own way how to get where they need and want to go. These holistic learners are able to process many pieces of information simultaneously. I try to remain aware of the many learning styles of my students. A balance between structure and freedom creates a place where creativity can thrive.

Teaching Methods

Two recent classes can serve as illustrations to the way I approach teaching in our school for children with diagnosed learning disabilities. …

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