Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to School Countdown- Fourth Grade!

Today, I am so excited to introduce to you, Mariko.  She has been a fourth grade teacher at our school and is now moving into a fabulous new job as a reading facilitator!  She has AMAZING ideas and reaches students in so many creative ways.  She was also the Teacher of the Year for our school AND our county this past year and we are so proud to work with her!  Take it away, Mariko!

Aloha!  My name is Mariko and I’m a fourth grade teacher and colleague of Juli and Heather.  When they invited to be a guest blogger, I was more than happy to contribute.   It’s the beginning of August and the “school dreams” have begun.   I think most teachers have them around this time. My latest dream or maybe I should say nightmare, is the same one I have every year, the one where I wake up and realize that I’m late for work.  As soon as these dreams begin, I’ve entered school mode and I sadly consider it the end to my summer.  I’ve been teaching for a while, 14 years to be exact. Each year I fine-tune what I’ve done in the past to meet the needs of my new group of students.    One thing that I’ve done year after year is to have my students take a learning styles inventory.  I’ve used several different ones, both paper and electronic.   I’ve realized that I prefer an inventory which has less than 20 questions and has a limited number of answer choices.  Having too many choices becomes overwhelming for the student.  The one that I’m sharing with you today was adapted from Instructor Magazine by the University of South Dakota.   Don’t expect anything fancy.   It’s pretty straightforward and there are three links to click on.  You’ll be clicking on the first link appropriately titled, “Take the inventory.”  This inventory has 16 questions and the students have only three answers to choose from.  I think it works best for grades 3-5 but it could easily be adapted for the younger crowd.  This is what it looks like: 

You will notice on the website that there are also two separate links that give a summary of the different learning styles and a guide on understanding and identifying them.  I found these to be helpful. 

So what do you think?  You may now be thinking about how you’re going to organize this information.  Well, I’ve created a worksheet for you to use once the students have completed the inventory (click the picture to download).  It will help you to organize the results on one single sheet.  Hopefully this information will aid in classroom management and to guide instruction. 

I hope you give it a try this school year.  Your students will enjoy completing the survey and you’ll have some valuable information to better understand your students.  It’s a win-win situation.  

Thanks for reading!  
Have a great school year!  


  1. This is awesome Mariko! Definitely going to do this!!

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