As a teacher, I think a lot about the learning process and how learning consequently opens doors to opportunity. Here at The Cloverleaf School we recognize that each of our students will ultimately not all go down the same path in life. It is our job as teachers to be guides and help our students understand the way they learn so they can experience success in learning and open those doors for themselves.
With this in mind, the teachers at The Cloverleaf School have developed a strategy to effectively tailor an individualized curriculum for each student. To help us differentiate our instruction of our students, we will create learner profiles. These will tap into the routes which will most efficiently and effectively promote learning for each student. Along the way, we will also help our students understand their own unique learning abilities!
When teachers differentiate their instruction, they do so in response to a student’s readiness, interest, and/or learning profile. Readiness refers to the skill level and background knowledge of the child. Interest refers to topics that the student may want to explore or that will motivate the student to learn and discover. Finally, a student’s learning profile includes learning style (i.e., a visual, auditory, tactile, or kinesthetic learner), grouping preferences (i.e., individual, small group, or large group), and environmental preferences (i.e., lots of space or a quiet area to work). A teacher may differentiate based on any one of these factors or any combination of factors (Tomlinson, 1999).
As teachers, we understand that we must be constantly learning about our students to truly individualize our curriculum and tailor our delivery of that curriculum to each child. Moreover, we are acutely aware that our responsibility does not end when our students transition to another school. We need to be able to give them the tools to succeed wherever they go. These learner profiles will help us and our students navigate through their school experience at Cloverleaf and then they will travel with each of them down their chosen paths.
We are excited to be blazing the Learner Profile trail here in Atlanta and look forward to seeing our students flourish with this new and exciting tool!
Tomlinson , C.A. (1999). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. Alexandria , VA : ASCD.