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Understanding Your Students

    Teachers are like music conductors guiding the performance of each individual student. Teachers need to understand each student's abilities, personality and background in order to successfully scaffold learning. This area provides articles that address the topics of individual learner needs personalizing instruction, special education, culture and ethnic background, diversity, and gender.

  • Boredom and Its Opposite
    Teachers can overcome a resistance to learning by tapping into the personal interests of their students.
  • Cooperative Learning Response to Diversity
    Dedicated teachers are always looking for better ideas for meeting the many challenges they face in school, especially as diversity increases in the student population. Cooperative learning methods provide teachers with effective ways to respond to diverse students by promoting academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding.
  • Decisions & Dilemmas of Electronic Portfolios
    This powerpoint goes deep into questions about setting up an electronic portfolio system, be David Gibson.
  • Digital Equity: Training Future Teachers to Bridge the Divide - McLaughlin and Pittman
    Future teachers need to better understand the scope and nature of the digital divide-and how to overcome obstacles. Statistics do not present the realities about access to computers in our underserved schools.
  • Disabilities: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are disorders faced by many families today. Kidsource has brought together their best articles here in this section.
  • Disabilities: Learning Disabilities
    The area of Learning Disabilities is quite broad, and here KidSource has brought together the best articles they've found, including those on education & disabilities and speech & language development.
  • Emotional Intelligence (Info Site by Steve Hein)
    This site is by Steve Hein, author of EQ for Everybody. The site is based on the belief that one of the keys to improving society is improving the way we meet each other's emotional needs.
  • Gifted and Talented Students
    When a child is gifted or talented, their parents and educators are faced with many issues and challenges. These articles and digests provide ideas, guidance and activities for both parents and educators of gifted students.
  • How to Respond When Students Give the Wrong Answer
    Incorrect answers can often provide clues to what students don't understand. The suggestions provided here can help teachers better understand where their students are having difficulty.
  • Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences
    Howard Gardner (1983) proposes in his book "Frames of Mind" that there are eight different intelligences that deserve equal recognition. This article describes in detail each of these intelligences plus provide links to other articles.
  • Interaction Skills
    Effective communication skills are the building blocks for the development of positive interactions in the classroom. This article discusses the impact of the physical setting, instructor attitude, hints for encouraging student participation, wait-time for questioning, handling student responses to questions, and responding to students' questions.
  • Introduction to Electronic Portfolios
    This presentation, which has been given in several national and international conferences, is one starting point for discussion about electronic portfolios such as the eFolio, by David Gibson.
  • Learning Disabilities Pride (
    Information about learning styles and Multiple Intelligence (MI) is helpful for everyone especially for people with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder. Knowing a one's learning style will help one develop coping strategies to compensate for weaknesses and capitalize on strengths.
  • Learning to Discipline by M. Metzger
    At the start of her teaching career, Ms. Metzger confesses, she ricocheted between being a drill sergeant and Mary Poppins.
  • Making Students as Important as Standards
    Not only do educators need to have a clear vision of what they want their students to understand and be able to do, but they also need to focus attention on the individuals in their classrooms. The balance between the two generates a "double alignment.".
  • Mapping a Route Toward Differentiated Instruction by Ann Tomlinson
    Even though students may learn in many ways, the essential skills and content they learn can remain steady. That is, students can take different roads to the same destination.
  • Network-based Assessment
    This powerpoint outlines a vision and framework elements for assessment facilitated by technology.
  • Personality Theories
    This is an electronic textbook ("e-text") created for undergraduate and graduate courses in Personality Theories. While it is copyrighted, you may download it or print it out without permission from the author, as long as the material is used only for personal or educational purposes, and the source is indicated.
  • Rapport With and Knowledge of Students
    Students who are happy and successful in school are not likely to disrupt learning for other students. Teachers need to get to know their students as individuals.
  • She Will Succeed! Strategies for Success in Inclusive Classrooms by Mary Ann Pratner
    Given the number of students needing individual assistance in the general classroom, teachers need strategies to assist them in making appropriate modifications and adaptations to their curriculum, instruction, and learning environment. This article includes a case situation where a teacher implements specific adaptations and steps to modify the learning environment.
  • simSchool – The Game of Teaching
    This article is the print version on the online article available at Horizon's Innovate: Journal of Online Education, at this address: We encourage you to look through their archives for great articles on technology and learning.
  • Talk in the Classroom
    Originally published in Instructor magazine (1990) by Brenda Power. This article explores the Initiation-Response-Evaluation trap into which teachers may fall, and examines the role of open-ended questions, rich conversations, and wait time to advamce student learning.
  • Understand Your Students
    Who are your students? What backgrounds and experiences do they bring to class which influence how they learn from you?.

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