SAT Curriculum Teaching Principle #3: Different Approaches

The final teaching principle of ArborBridge's proprietary SAT curriculum is the utilization of different approaches. As a refresher, we have already covered confidence-building scaffolding and the Learning Pyramid, both of which play integral roles in this third principle.

Different Approaches

Once our lessons were structured in a way to maximize efficient and involved learning and were appropriately scaffolded to start students at the right level, we wanted to make sure that the content covered in each lesson was going to be valuable for students. Students’ minds all function differently, so a curriculum that only teaches concepts in one way will likely be ineffective for a large group of students.

Classroom teachers have recently begun to notice the benefits of teaching the same concepts in different ways. For example, if math doesn’t come easily to a student, teaching the “practical reason” behind problems—like using a number line for subtraction so kids who are more artistically-minded can visualize it—can be enormously helpful.

Our curriculum works to achieve this diversity by developing varying over-arching strategies based on a student's thinking style. For instance, consider our critical reading strategy. A mathematically-oriented student would be taught the "eliminating answers" strategy, which teaches him how to recognize wrong answer patterns. This helps guide him to see the critical reading section as just another equation with clear, patterned rules. But this is not the same strategy that would be used with a student who is more of an artistic thinker, whose mind does not work by putting concepts into groups and categories. For these students, we help them to "brainstorm their own answers" before going to the answer choices, allowing them to use their strong interpretive powers while still helping them avoid falling for SAT tricks.[mk_title_box color="#393836" highlight_color="#000" highlight_opacity="0" size="22" line_height="34" font_weight="bold" margin_top="0" margin_bottom="18" font_family="none" align="left"]The 3 Teaching Principles of ArborBridge's SAT Curriculum[/mk_title_box]

  1. Confidence-Building Scaffolding
  2. Learning Pyramid
  3. Different Approaches


Lisa McManus

About Lisa McManus

Lisa graduated from the Columbia School of Public Health where she finished a degree in sociomedical sciences after studying biology as an undergrad at Georgetown. At both universities, she completed theses based on education and pedagogy, conducting original research and teaching in low-income middle schools. After graduation, Lisa developed targeted curricula for small after-school programs.

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