Saturday, March 26, 2016


Many teachers throughout the years have believed that students have different learning styles, such as visual, verbal, and hands-on; therefore, teachers tend to focus on one of those learning styles, because their class "must be" one way or another. With this, teachers go overboard with only using one learning style for their students, which limits students to the types of lessons that are exposed to them, as well as limiting to their abilities. While it is true that every student is "unique and has a different personality, experience, and genes," the fact that teachers have to differentiate instruction to better suit students' learning needs has "morphed into the belief that if you match your style to their preference, it will lead to better grades," according to author Bradley Busch.
            While students may have preferences to their learning, authors Cedar Riener and Daniel Willingham, state that learning is the same no matter if they are learning in their preferred way or not. Research on learning preferences has failed to go deep enough to be able to prove whether or not they 100% truly exist or not, which means that teachers should not limit students on their abilities based on research that is not completely valid or complete at all. This lack of evidence in research based on learning styles proves that teachers should not jump to conclusions about students and learning styles.

            According to "Learning and the Adolescent Mind" found here, there is not a definite answer as to whether or not intelligence can change, meaning it is malleable, or if it is fixed. What is known is the learner behavior that accompanies a mindset. If students believe their intelligence is fixed and it is hard to learn new things, their motivation drops. If they believe in flexibility and intellectual gain, they are more motivated!
            The American Psychology Association states that students who believed that their intelligence or ability to do school work could change got better grades. They actually did better in school! The students in this study were college age and were white as well as black (done deliberately because there is also an unfortunate belief that some races and genders are not as intelligent as others.) Once again the research shows that it is possible to change a mindset and that it is beneficial.
            Wired ( states that “…usually the most effective way for us to learn is based not on our individual preferences but on the nature of the material we’re being taught…” This article goes on to say that “there are so many different possible ways to describe people’s preferred learning styles.”  How can we just put people’s learning styles in a cookie cutter- one size fits all format? Can people really only be labeled a visual or kinesthetic learner?     
            Authors Philip Adey and Justin Dillon state in their book, Bad Education: Debunking Myths in Education,  "[p]utting children into boxes that have not been proved to exist may end up restricting the education they receive, leading teachers to overly rigid views of individual pupils' potentialities, and what is worse, a new type of stereotyping." This limitation for students is indeed a stereotype or label that teachers place on their students. Blaming the student for their "non-success" due to their learning style is unfair and not what teachers should be doing. Instead, teachers need to work as hard as they can to make students successful, whether it is evaluating their own teaching and making the necessary changes, or encouraging students that they have the ability to learn in any way. Learning styles are hurting children and teachers are limiting their abilities; therefore, teachers need to ditch this way of thinking, and remember that all children and students have the ability to learn in multiple ways.

This article also does a great job of summing this up! 
More on learning styles! 


Adey, P., & Dillon, J. (2012). Bad education: Debunking myths in education. New York City: McGraw-Hill.

Busch, B. (2016). Four neuromyths that are still prevalent in schools -- debunked; It's not true that you only use 10% of your brain, not can you categorise students by 'learning styles' -- let's cut this nonsense from classrooms. Guardian Newspapers. Retrieved from

Riener, C., & Willingham, D. (2010). The myth of learning styles. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 42(5), 32-35. Retrieved from 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Technology in my classroom

In my first grade classroom, the technology that is in the classroom is a set of 5 Ipads, and the projector at the front of the room. The projector connects to both the laptop computer that the teacher has as well as the document camera which is similar to an ELMO.
As of right now, the IPADS do not get used very often because there are only 5 and we have 26 students in the classroom. We use them during our language arts centers in the mornings which we call Daily 5. The students at that station work on the RAZkids app for usually about 15 minutes before they have to switch to a different group. That app requires the student to follow along with a story and answer comprehension questions. I like it because it is based on their skill level.
The only other time the Ipads are used are for our ELL students. Sometimes if there is an assignment or something going on that they will not understand, they will work on an app which is similar to Rosetta Stone. They work on just learning basic letters and numbers.
There is a computer lab in the school which they usually go to once a week and typically work on a website similar to RazKids.
The projector at the front of the classroom is hooked to the document camera which is just used to project work to help explain work to students. The computer is hooked to the projector when they want to use GoNoodle or to show Youtube videos but that is usually about it. 

I would like the IPads to be used as a center for another subject, such as math. I think the kids would enjoy using apps from other content areas. 

Friday, January 29, 2016


I have created a Feedly account and I now follow my blog via Feedly.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

50 word bio

My name is Sarah Park and I am a future teacher leader studying mathematics and elementary education. I am a believer of the integration of technology in the classroom and I love the implementation of a "flipped" classroom. I strongly believe that building trust amongst your students is key.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blogs in Education

A blog is a great tool for the classroom and there are many great ways of using them!

If you are thinking about the English content area, blogging can improve your students' writing skills. They can help build confidence in writing and give your students a voice. I would love to use blogging as an extra component in writing because it is more creative and can spark students interested in writing when they may otherwise not be interested.

Unlike other writing platforms, I think blogs are great at organizing student work. This makes it easier for the teacher and the student. I know I would have loved that aspect of having all of my work in one place as a student.

For my classroom, I would love to have one blog that is for the whole class, much like some of the ones I found in my last post. I would link videos and articles that are relevant to the students and give them additional web sources and tools that could help them if they are struggling with homework. But I also love that they then could have their own blog. I think they would take their work seriously if they knew it is being published to the world. It teaches them great skills that they need to know later in life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Educator Blogs This blog is written by David Coffey, a math education professor at GVSU. His posts are about educational practices as well as math activities that he has performed in classrooms or works on with preservice teachers. This blog is written by Mark Pullen, a third grade teacher in a 1:1 classroom in East Grand Rapids. He also manages a math league website. He adds a lot of informational links that can be used in any K-8 classroom. This blog tells it like it is- putting a funny take on education. She gives helpful insights on how to manage your classroom without getting too stressed! Mark is a funny guy who works as a substitute teacher. I love it because he has been blogging for many years so there is a lot of archived material. This K-5 teacher discusses ways that teachers can incorporate technology into the classroom in order to aid in the creating of life-long learners. I love a lot of her posts because they are really focused on math ed. I like this blog because Denise is a homeschool teacher who aims to help all math teachers. Her philiosophy is that math can be taught and be thought of as games. This blog is for the P.E. department of an elementary school. I like it because it is well organized and because I do not know much information pertaining to P.E/health education. Helps students learning English as a second language in the K-8 years. I like this site because I was able to find good resources for my classroom, which has many ELL students. Michael talks about education at an administrative level. You can tell that he once was a teacher and principal and is now a superintendent. I like this blog because that is the career path I myself would like to take. I like Crystal's blog because I had not seen one like this before. She discusses how to survive on your salary so that you can focus on the important things in life, like your classroom and students!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Educators on social media

@mathhombre: Math Professor from GVSU who tweets often about teaching, math, games and Geogebra.
@delta_dc: GVSU math ed. professor who is interested in engagement, math literacy and design thinking. 
@beckysteele: 6th grade math teacher at Bursley Elementary 
@tmaynard5: 8th grade math teacher in Zeeland who discusses a lot of technology 
@abusch38: a math teacher in Boulder, CO who discusses a lot about the NCTM practices 
@ddmeyer: CAO of Desmos 
@DrEugeniaCheng: Pure Mathematician and writer 
@TypeAMathLand: 4th grade math teacher in North Carolina
@amymasko: GVSU professor of English Education 

Youtube: Math educator that creates videos for homeschooled students in Atlanta. Math professor that makes lessons public Educational videos in all subject areas 


PylesofMath: Middle School math teacher 
CrewtonRamone: Math Tutor
Teachability: Teachers leading discussions on what goes on in their classrooms 
Blocht574: Math teacher who posts activities happening in his classroom 
Dbraman: Math teacher and edtech enthusiast
HappyChappies: highly educational montessori school in Kuwait