Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vending Machine Education: 10 Selections that will help reach all learners

Taking courses this summer has been rewarding but not without its challenges.  The classes are longer and meet more frequently, my family is out doing “summer” things, and the hours unfortunately overlap with what is usually dinnertime.  My classmates are too polite to say anything but I know they hear my stomach growling.  At a break during a recent class I stood before the vending machine trying to decide what would subdue the monster in my belly.  Crunchy?  Chewy?  Salty?  Sweet?   All I had to do was push a letter followed by a number and I would be given exactly what I needed.  I imagined the implications for education if we could do the same for our students. Then it hit me, in some ways we do have that ability.  Through differentiated instruction practices and by tapping into student’s multiple intelligences we support their growth every day.  Of course choosing and providing the means to do it is not that convenient, but what if it were?  Here is what my vending machine would look like.

  • C-1 Cooperative Learning: The perfect snack for those who can share their treats with others
  • T-2 Technology: A taste so great it is sure to go viral
  • I-3 Independent Work: Sometime you just want to be alone and indulge in a decadent treat   
  • A-4 Arts:  A creative delight sure to be one of a kind
  • S-5 Sports/Movement:  This healthy bite will give you a boost of energy and get you moving
  • L-6 Listening:  Bite into this crispy bar and you will hear that delicious crunch even before you taste it
  • P-7 Performing:  Feel like a star when you pop these creamy morsels into your mouth
  • W-8 Writing: Rich, milky, delicious, mouthwatering, and scrumptious are just a few words to describe this goody
  • R-9 Research:  Made from an array of mystery ingredients that will leave you searching for the answers
  • E-10 Experimentation:   A “make your own” snack full of surprises and discovery


Anonymous said...

Gino, loved the concept of list (I too am a "list-er") and enjoyed the vending machine idea. Your vending idea has a number of possibilities. A big thank-you to your growling tummy!

Tml21stC said...

Great analogy. Every time my stomach growls in class, instead of thinking how hungry I am, I think of your list. Its a catchy way to help teachers think about differentiation. Love your lists. . . keep them coming! I plan on sharing them with my colleagues in the fall.