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Introduction

A Learning Management System such as Canvas does provide easy


access, consistency, and stability for students of all categories. If these were
the only factors that prevented students from being academically successful,
Canvas (or any other Learning Management System) would be the answer.
However, there are many other factors that determine a students ability to
perform well in schools. They include, but are not limited to personal
relationships, family stability and financial issues. Additionally, some
students may have special needs that limit them from doing well in class.
Since a teacher instructs students who may deal with one or all of the issues
on a daily basis, he or she needs to find a way to push these obstacles of
learning out of the way for the students if only temporarily, so that the
student may reach his or her optimal learning.
First, Mills (2015) suggests that teachers need to become less of a
facilitator during the learning and more of a mentor. This is where a teacher
may tap into their talents and creativity. An instructors teaching style, his or
her personality should really shine through. The students can become active
participants that create and not just absorb the information that they get via
Canvas (p.42).
Though Canvas is an online system, teachers should still strive to use
different types of instructional strategies: cooperative learning small groups
of students work to together towards a common goal; project-based learning
students are put into activities that resemble real-world problems; they are

asked to come up with solutions for those problems; and multiple


intelligences people have different types of intelligences in which they look
at the world and solve problems (De Jesus, 2012, p.7-8). Multiple
Intelligences affect how instruction is implemented within the classroom.
Once way for a teacher to understand the different types of intelligences in
his or her classroom is through an interest inventory (Beam, 2009, p. 3.)
This way the learner can reflect on his or her learning style, and the teacher
can create lesson plans accordingly. One may ask about the different types
of multiple intelligences. They are as follows: linguistic (words); logicalmathematical (reasoning); spatial (images); bodily-kinesthetic (hands-on);
musical (rhythm and melodies); interpersonal (extroverts); and intrapersonal
(introverts) (Beam, 2009, p. 3-4). Knowing the different intelligences is the
first step towards addressing students needs, but the second step occurs
during lesson planning.
A strong lesson plan would be one that uses differentiated instruction
in response to multiple intelligences. The following lesson plan is one I used
for one of my classes through American College of Education. It addresses
both and can be presented using Canvas as the vehicle for information.
Step 1 Lesson Plan (The following lesson plan was modified from an
existing plan created by Electric English and shared on
www.teacherspayteachers.com).
Objectives: Through lecture, the class will be able to identify the following
American Revolutionaries:

Abigail Adams
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Samuel Adams
Thomas Paine
Patrick Henry
Anticipatory Set or Focus: What if the United States was still under the
rule of Great Britain? Why should we care about the contributions of the
patriots/ How do their actions affect us today? How can we connect social
and cultural issues today to the issues that were occurring during the time of
the American Revolution?
Body of the Lesson: The lesson will be presented in the form of a
PowerPoint. The life, accomplishments, and contributions of each historical
figure will be discussed.
Closure: The presented information will be reviewed through an exit ticket
at the end of class on day 1.
Extensions: The students will be assigned questions and will present their
findings as well as yesterdays content in classroom centers. These centers
allow teachers to provide follow-up activities to help students remember
what they have learned (Lynch & Warner, 2008, p. 13). Through these
centers, old information can be reviewed and new information can be
learned.
Step 2 Assessment

The class with be divided into six groups according to ability. Beam states
that when grouping students according to ability teachers will need to
accommodate for experiences and readiness by using pretests or baselines
so scaffolding is effective (p. 6). This will require additional work at the
beginning of the unit, but it will result in successful learning. Once groups
have been established, each group will be responsible for doing additional
research on their historical figure digging into their life, accomplishments
and contributions to the American Revolution. Once the research has been
completed, the students will choose how the information can be presented
with the following options: videotaping the impersonation of the historical
figure; using a Prezi or PowerPoint discussing the life and contributions of the
revolutionary; publishing a blog or website; comparing or contrasting in
writing a couple of the people discussed during the lecture; creating a
collage of information and pictures of the person assigned; or writing a song
about the assigned historical person.
Step 3 Two Key Components Learning Through Teaching and Published
Discussions
The students will not only be choosing the product in which to display the
information, but they will be teaching what they have learned to their fellow
classmates in learning centers. Additionally, they will answer questions
through a threaded discussion on the Learning Management System called
Canvas.
Step 4 Mini-Lessons

The advanced students must take what they have learned from class and
through their project and connect it to a social or cultural issue in present
society. They can answer questions such as: How would your historical figure
react to a certain social or cultural issue today? What factors in todays
society would warrant a revolution? They may address these questions in
the discussion thread as well as in a general group discussion during their
learning station time.
The average students may address questions such as the following: Where
would the United States be if the revolutionaries did not speak out against
Great Britain? Why may it be important to address injustices in society? This
group would also address these questions through a threaded discussion
using Canvas. Additionally, they would use these questions as teaching
moments during the learning centers.
The struggling students could review the basic information on the life and
contributions of the historical figures to the American Revolution. They could
possibly answer a question such as: Explain what Abigail Adams was most
known for, and why is she considered an American patriot? What speech did
Patrick Henry give, and what was its significance in reference to the
American Revolution?
Conclusive Wrap-Up
Students have many obstacles that affect their learning. Some of them
include outside factors that teachers cannot control; however, there are
factors that can be controlled and utilized in order to ensure successful

learning. In the above lesson plan, differentiated instruction was utilized


based on multiple intelligences as well as different levels of student ability.
Since the use of technology is a skill that 21st century learners need to be
familiar with, this lesson combines a learning management system with
student choice, skill level and multiple intelligence. These three formats can
address a variety of student needs, and can help students find their passion
for life-long learning.

References:
Beam, A. P. (2009). Standards-based differentiation: Identifying the concept
of multiple
intelligence for use with students with disabilities. TEACHING
Exceptional Children Plus, 5(4), 2-13.

De Jesus, O. N. (2012). Differentiated instruction: Can differentiated


instruction provide success
for all learners? National Teacher Education Journal, 5(3), 5-11.
Lynch, S., & Warner, L. (2008). Creating lesson plans for all learners. Kappa
Delta Pi Record,
45(1), 10-15.
Mills, J. d. (2015). Learning Management Systems Must Evolve to Curb
Student
Attrition. Journal Of Applied Learning Technology, 5(4), 41-45.