Category Archives: Instruction

The article is mainly about differentiating instruction in the classroom.

Reflection 1-3

Differentiating learning is used to try and create learning that meets the needs of a variety of students. Sometimes however hard one tries, there is still the student or students that seem to be unreachable. They are the students that make it hard to “get” what it is that they don’t “get”. This is frustrating. It may be that the teacher hasn’t figured out what makes that student learn, or maybe it’s because that teacher’s learning style is so different from the student that they can’t seem to find common ground to move forward on.  Differentiating using personality types may be a model of instruction that could bridge that gap.

My teaching experiences include teaching 2nd and 3rd grade in elementary school, grades 5, 7, and 8 in middle school. Although I spent time teaching all core subjects I spent most of my time teaching 7th and 8th grade science. Currently I teach middle school health. I see every student throughout the year. All classes are heterogeneously grouped. All assignments are done in class. No intervention time is provided and no homework is given. Still, under these circumstances engagement and learning must take place.

Looking at personality types is an exciting new way to think about differentiating instruction. It will challenging but intriguing to watch my students and try to determine how they gain energy, take in information, make decisions and approach life. Even more interesting will be in understanding my preferences and watching how that effects my interaction with students who share similar preferences as well as those who don’t. Lessons can then be adjusted and created to hopefully create that “flow” that Kise describes in chapter 1.

I’m concerned that I will not spend enough time with all the students to be able to determine their personality types. I see 160 different students every two days. Each student only spends 30 days each year in my class. That’s 120 days in four years. I’m already finding it difficult to retrieve their names on a daily basis. This will be a challenge. Regardless of whether or not I can match personality types to the personalities; I can begin to restructure lessons that allow for accommodating the different personality types.

I’m still struggling with the results of my own personality type. I can’t decide how correct it is. I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a natural personality type, one that describes me as a student, and I have a learned one that describes me as a teacher. The MBTI assessment is mostly correct.  According to Kise these results are not black and white. I may be mostly judging in that I like clear expectations, guidelines and goals so that I know what to plan for, yet I tend to wait until the last minute to complete projects like a perceiving type. That pressure of a deadline close by seems to drive my creativity and decision making. I believe I am an introvert as the assessment says, yet as a teacher I tend to have many extravert tendencies. If you were to ask those that work with me they would laugh to think of me as an introvert. As I further understand this personality “map”, I will be able to define it more carefully as I consider how my preferences play out in my teaching.




New addition to “Helpful Links”

In the menu bar at the top of the blog page there is a link to “Helpful Links” — maybe you’ve noticed it, or . . . maybe you haven’t. This morning I am adding a new link to that page: Type For Life. It’s a blog that’s sponsored by CAPT, the Center for Applications for Psychological Type, the organization that manages all the forms and training, keeps track of amazing amounts of research, and sells excellent books and other materials to people like me.

Their blog can be pretty interesting, and I thought some of you might like to read this one: Good Learning Environments. It is aimed at type practitioners such as myself who train adults, but there are some good things to remember for classroom teachers working with children, too. It’s a short article and can even be skimmed for its main points. Enjoy.

Differentiation Through Personality Types recommends that educators should try to teach to their opposite personality.  That would mean that I need to look at strategies that would address an ESTP.  By doing this, I would help to reach more students in my classroom.  I decided to change one of my lessons on India to address this different style.

My original lesson was to use a flipchart on the Promethean Board with images of the Indus River Civilization and describe the civilization to the students.  Understanding by Design encourages active problem solving and instruction designed around essential questions.  Two important questions that relate closely to this unit are “How does environment shape how the Indian people live and work?  And “How do we know about ancient cultures?”

First, I displayed the images one and at a time, and I asked each child to make notes on each artifact independently by responding to these questions:  What is this object made of?  What was is used for?  and “What can this artifact tell us about the society from which it came from?  After the children had responded to the artifacts alone, I grouped the children in groups of two or three.  The groups were diverse in personality style.  They moved to sit together and were given chart paper and a different colored marker for each student.  I displayed each item again.  This time the groups discussed their original impressions of the artifacts and each student contributed to the group poster about the object.  Once the posters were done, we once again looked at each image and discussed their impressions of the objects.  Then I shared the scientist’s hypotheses of the objects.

Out of three classes, I only had two students who did not fully engage in the lesson.  Even they accomplished most of it.  I was amazed at the insight of the students.  They accurately identified many of the objects and even recognized that a figurine represented a goddess or religious figure, and that a statue might be a memorial to an important person.  By providing time for self-reflection, movement, discussion and analysis, I believe I managed to address the spectrum of personality types.