Engage Your Students

Understanding how each student learns creates a connection that transcends the barrier of distance learning. Your mutual understanding of each other as student and teacher fosters a mindset for learning and support for each student’s social and emotional learning.

“Virtual learning wasn’t perfect by any means, but in understanding my students’ Learning Patterns, I was better prepared to coach their learning behaviors, anticipate their emotive responses, and offer solutions based on our collective understanding of my Learning Patterns and most importantly their Patterns.”
–Dawn Payne 5th Grade Science

Compass Academy Charter School (The LML lab school grades P-5) Science teacher, Dawn Payne shares how she supported her students’ social and emotional learning while in a virtual setting. These tips are also useful in the classroom or for the blended learning model.

  1. Knowing my students’ Learning Patterns meant I could address their frustration and procrastination by providing feedback through the lens of their Patterns.
    • I coached their use of their Sequence by
      • modeling exactly how to make parts of the experiments.
      • making bulleted checklists to help the students stay organized.
    • I supported their use of their Precision by:
      • making sure I was available through Google Meet in order to answer any questions.
      • always asking “What strategy could you use to find the answer to your question?” and encouraging them to use the resource I had provided thereby helping them become more self-reliant.
    • I motivated their use of their Technical Reasoning by:
      • providing time for them to explore the materials and illustrations of the experiment before giving them hints on how to begin to find the solution.
      • responding to questions when asked and offered key information to help the student persist without giving away the answer.
    • I assisted their use of their Confluence by:
      • encouraging them to try a new approach to finding answers as simple and safe as starting from the conclusion of the experiment and working backwards.
      • allowing and supporting independent thinking and trying new ways of solving the problem.

  2. Understanding my students’ Learning Patterns drove my online instruction so I could give them choices in how to
    • giving them options to type answers-(usually aimed at those students who were Use First Precision),
    • taking pictures (usually used by Technical Reasoning or Avoid Precision), or
    • making videos, giving them different ways to express their ideas that were comfortable to their Patterns.

  3. I also felt it was important to give them some fun options if they completed all of their work for the week. I wanted them to have something to do that they’d enjoy, so I’d give
    • watching interesting videos and sharing their thoughts about it,
    • doing coding, or doing engineering, which appealed to all combination of their Learning Patterns and kept them connected to the science classroom environment I was seeking to maintain.

  4. I anticipated their tendency to procrastinate, while remaining consistent with the nonjudgmental nature of the LML classroom language.

    I offered ways to overcome it by setting benchmarks for reviewing progress and time limits as a way to guide them to spend an adequate amount of energy and effort on a task. These are the tendencies of each pattern that require specific coaching techniques:

    • procrastinating by waiting until the last minute (Confluence),
    • fixating on the directions and never getting started (Sequence),
    • spending too long trying to figure things out (Technical Reasoning), or
    • trying to get the task done perfectly (Precision),

  5. For learners who use Technical Reasoning (TR) first, I encouraged them to ask for help BEFORE becoming frustrated because I too experienced the roadmap that led to them being withdrawn.
    • Because I use TR first and I understand my own Learning Patterns and how they work for me, I can make unique connections with learners who also use it first. Many of them would try to figure things out for themselves, but this can be frustrating, time consuming, and result in still not being correct.
    • I believe that asking for help is not something that occurs to those higher in Technical Reasoning -(I am the same way), and it was important that I reach out to them to check in, and review different strategies that they could use–including coming to the Google Meet, or just asking a clarifying question on Google Classroom.

Here is one student’s story:

Jaden had a hard time asking for help and would not come to a Google Meet. After discussing this concern with his mother, she cooperated by making sure he got on the Meet to do science with me.

After completing his assignment, being able to share his ideas, and also get any clarification needed, he was incredibly relieved that it wasn’t scary or hard to be on a Meet to do science–he wasn’t afraid anymore. This boosted his confidence to come back most days, and led to him working harder and more productively, turning his F into a C by the end of the school year. I believe if I didn’t understand being Use First Technical Reasoning, I wouldn’t have understood why he wouldn’t just ask for help when he didn’t understand something.

We recognize that not all families are as available and accommodating as Jaden’s. This story reveals the frustration that many teachers feel in working with students who use Technical Reasoning first, whether they are in your classroom or in a virtual setting; and they are part of every class. These are the learners who successfully complete work that they really like or when a project they connect to yields a high grade, yet a written test does not seem to reveal what they actually know. They may not complete assignments when you know or suspect that they understand the learning objectives. They leave you scratching your head and feeling frustrated about how to approach them. LML can help you understand these learners better and give you and the learner strategies for success!

This 4 minute video capture Ms. Payne’s use of the LML Process® within the traditional classroom setting. Note how she supports her students social and emotional learning all the while teaching them the science curriculum.

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