Tips For Teaching Logical, Curious Students

This is part of a series of using Myers Briggs personality types in the classroom. For more information, click here. For information on how to figure out your student’s MBTI type, click here. 

The INTP personality is described as a logician, and for good reason. They thrive on logic and organized data leading them to discover theoretical ideas. They tend to spot liars fairly easy because they love to look for inconsistencies.

Introverted
i(N)tuition 
Thinking 
Percieving 

These students the ones who are quick to point out flaws or ask deeper questions in the material you may not know information on the depth they are inquiring about. Because they can be very critical in their speaking and questioning, they are often the students told to stop asking questions or to accept the material the way it is. This does nothing but infuriates them. INTP students are looking for deep, logical conversations where they can bounce theoretical ideas back and forth, sometimes not even making complete sense of their thoughts before moving on to the next. 

Most introverted students do not think group work is ideal, however, most of them do okay with limited amounts of it. For INTP students, it can actually harm their learning potential. In group work, they can feel limited by others because they cannot become lost in their own deep thoughts and instead are forced to listen to ideas from multiple peers.

A very interesting fact about INTP students is their lack of concern for test scores or grades. “INTPs are more concerned with meeting their own standards than they are with meeting an external set of standards. They have high intellectual goals for themselves and if the lessons they are being taught don’t align with what they think is worthwhile they will often spend their time thinking about other more stimulating ideas.” 

A tool to facilitate better grades for these students is to meet with them and figure out what their personal goals as a student are. This conversation can lead to a discussion about how their academic goals can line up to create better scores and grades, keeping everyone satisfied. 

INTP personality types can exude shyness from the beginning, but once they open up, the logical conversation can easily flow if it’s an interest of theirs. 

If you’re teaching an INTP student, there is a good chance you are educating a future architect, political scientist or engineer. However, there is a great chance you are also teaching a procrastinator. They work as quickly as possible, often finding shortcuts to cut down their workload in order to accomplish it on time, with the little time they do have. 

INTP students are constantly curious and challenging others. This can be a great tool in the classroom. Don’t underestimate these shy students, they can surprise you. 

Do you have any INTP students in your classroom? What tools do you have when teaching these students? 

Imaginative Play- A Product Of Boredom

Lately, my daughter has adopted a new favorite phrase: “Mom, I’m hungry.” Translated, she’s really saying, “Mom, I’m bored.” I think this is common among most kids. 

I used to jump on the opportunity to give her productive play or activities when she was bored, but one day I was busy. I didn’t have the capabilities to bend and meet her every need. I felt like a bad mom, not giving her the attention she needed, or more so, wanted. What followed made up for my guilt. 

A tiny glimpse into the block city- A product of boredom

I allowed boredom for a small time and her imagination ran wild. With a little prompting, soon our wooden blocks were spread throughout the house with castles and buildings everywhere. Then, the baby dolls were invited to crash down the whole city, only to turn around and rebuild it. All while I made dinner. 

I’m sure I could have stuck another sensory bin in front of her, or given her some crayons and paper. We are always stocked up with sticker books and paints, which would have sufficed and held her over until the food was ready. All of these truly are great, educational, enriching options for toddlers and kids, but there’s something to say about letting kids reach boredom. It’s incredible what can follow. 

Instead, I let her run free and allowed time for her little mind to create her own play, her own work. Instead of being limited to paper and paints or the stickers I have available, she used my house as her canvas to create her own world to escape in for a time with the plentiful toys we have lying around.

Had I facilitated another activity for her, her imagination would not have grown that day. It was a great reminder that we need to let kids be bored. 

What products have you witnessed as a result of boredom? How can we find time to allow kids to be bored in schools, as well at home?

Featured Image: Pexels.com

Three Cheers For Repeating Text!

If I were to pick three books that are favorites for my two-year-old right now, it would be Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See, Goodnight Moon, and Bear Snores On. I read these three books so often I could read them in my sleep! What makes these texts so memorable for my daughter, why is she so drawn to them? The repetition. Repetition can be a powerful tool for younger students, whether it’s in book, song, dance, word, or any other form. 

Hearing the sentence over and over “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?” with only the noun and pronoun changing through every page gave my daughter the confidence to say this phrase herself at a young age. When she was younger and still learning phrases, one of her favorites to say was, “What do you see?” Obviously, it sounded a lot more like, “at you ee?” but we could translate! 

Still, almost a year later, her favorite phrase is, “Mama, what do you see?” said a little clearer now, and with actual meaning. When I respond by following the pattern of the book, “I see a little girl looking at me!” she giggles in delight because she knows these words, they are near and dear to her heart. 

The repetition in songs and books can also promote: 

  • Recognizing letters 
  • Phonological Awareness 
  • Writing skills 

Some of our other favorite repetitive books include:

  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess 
  • If You Give A Pig A Pancake Series by Laura Numeroff 
  • Don’t Let Pigeon Drive The Bus! By Mo Willems 
  • There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly by Lucille Colandro 

So next time your child or student requests Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell for the 50th time (yes, I have that one memorized as well) remember that they are learning and their little brains are growing, becoming more confident with words, speaking, and writing by hearing these over and over and over and over again. So let’s add in a little more repetition and give three cheers for repetitive text!  

The Debaters, The Politicians, The Business Managers- A Guide To Teaching These Students

This is part of a series of using Myers Briggs personality types in the classroom. For more information, click here. For information on how to figure out your student’s MBTI type, click here. 

Extroverted
I(N)tuition 
Thinking
Perceiving 

Do you know those students you look at and think to yourself, “He will make a great debater in high school.” or, “She is going to end up in politics later in life.” There is a chance these students may be an ENTP personality type. 

These students are clever and constantly questioning you, whether it be about the material presented in class or any other subject they can think of, they are always up for a good debate. A great way for them to learn is conceptually, and a logical flow of information is key to them. They are students that will connect their studies with other angles and thoughts, more than what is given to them explicitly. 

Group work with ENTP students may seem ideal with their extroverted personalities, but they work well both in groups, and individually, because they know their capabilities as an individual and group work can hinder this. However, they still need interactions with their peers. 

Mundane work can drive these students up the wall, they are motivated by solving problems and finding solutions. Deadlines can be stressful to them because task work is not how they function, they need time to be creative and come up with plenty of possible solutions to find the best one. Focus is a hard topic for ENTP students because when they become excited about multiple projects it is easy for them to jump from one to the next to accomplish each, but letting each lack by spreading themselves too thin. 

Are you an ENTP? How do you learn best? What other ways can we facilitate meaningful learning for ENTP students? 

Why I Decided The Clip Chart Wasn’t For Me

Oh, the dreaded clip chart. You know the one I’m talking about. “So-and-so” is being great! Move your clip up! Oh, Jonny, that wasn’t appropriate! Move your clip down!” It’s no secret that teachers have become outraged by these classroom management resources. One quick google search will show you just how unpopular they are. 

The first three articles to come up when googling “Clip Chart”

The first day I walked into the classroom of my long term sub job, I noticed one thing right away on the whiteboard- a clip chart. The public humiliation display. The does-more-harm-than-good tool. I did my best effort to keep the clip chart during my first week taking over the classroom, but I soon realized why it didn’t work. 

  • It was used for negative reinforcement more often than positive reinforcement. It was easier to use it for students misbehaving than to remember to reward those that were behaving. 
  • It didn’t change the behavior of the students who were constantly dropping into the negative. They quickly became numb to it, they didn’t care about moving their clip down, or up for that matter. 
  • I felt like our whole day revolved around the chart. Because I realized how often it was used for the misbehaving kids, I put in extra effort to use it to praise students for good behavior. It took too much time and effort. The best way to manage a classroom is to have an effortless, mindless, mostly positive plan in place. I needed a classroom management plan that was easy and natural for our classroom. 

So what did I do once I realized it wasn’t working? I stopped using it, slowly over time. I moved clips less and less, never making it a big deal or a spectacle that the clip chart was non-existent. I forgot about it and so did the kids. In fact, not a single student ever asked about it after we had fully stopped using it. Even the star students that were always at the top every day didn’t mind me phasing it out, no one wanted their behavior displayed to the entire classroom, including all of our visitors. 

Here’s what we did instead. We started our money unit, so a coin system was easily put in place. Each student had a container for their money and was solely responsible for it. Not very often was I taking pennies from the students, it was used more for positive reinforcement, which made everyone happier. It was incredible the drive the students had to clean up the floor at the end of the day when I would announce, “I have one nickel for every student who brings me ten pieces of trash!” I think we could have won awards for how clean our classroom was each afternoon. The money earned was used to pay for extra bathroom trips, new pencils, and a teacher store at the end of the year. 

We did a group point system on the board. I numbered each group, wrote the numbers on the board, and gave them points for being on time as a team, working together, and having their whole table quiet and ready to learn. It promoted teamwork and gave them an incentive to do better.

What did the point system on the board go towards? Here’s the magic of it- nothing. The points went towards nothing. Once the tallies made it to roughly 10 points per team, I would erase and start over. They were working hard simply for tallies on the board! I had one student ask quietly what the tallies were for. There were plenty of other side conversations happening at the time, so I chose to focus my attention elsewhere. I never heard any questions again after that one incident. 

Since I was teaching first-grade students, passing around a tiny sticker to hard workers was a huge motivation for them. I also kept a box of Cheerios in my cupboard to pass around one Cheerio to quiet, on-task students. After one or two times of doing this, they learned fast. As soon as the box was in my hand to pass them out, every student would be working hard. It amazed me how motivating one piece of cereal can be. 

Clip charts clearly are not a classroom management win. It may work for some and could possibly be excellent personal behavior management tucked away in a desk for one or two students that need it. But as a whole class approach, there are better options out there. Positive reinforcement has been proven to be the most effective for changing behavior, and clip charts do not promote this. Let’s all take a minute to put down the clip chart and pick up a more positive approach for our student’s sake. 

Beautiful Winter Books for Gloomy Winter Days

The only thing I love more than a good list is the Winter season. I know the cold weather isn’t everyone’s favorite, but the magic of the holidays and the peaceful falling snow makes me so happy! If winter isn’t for you, here are a few fun winter-themed books to make the snow and cold a tiny bit more enjoyable. 

The Mitten by Jan Brett: A boy loses a mitten in the snow and animal friends come to help.  

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: This Caldecott book is not only perfect for its storyline but the artwork as well.  

Wolf In The Snow by Matthew Cordell: A book with no words telling a story of humans and wolves helping one another through the wintery cold snow. 

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak: A brother and sister see the signs of a dying autumn and a growing winter as they take a walk outside. 

Snow Party by Harriet Ziefert: Snowmen throwing a party in the woods, what’s not to love?   

These books are sure to have you smiling and feeling excited about the snow right along with your students. When you’re having a hard time getting to school in the cold and ice, just pull out a fun wintery book and get reading, it’ll be sure to brighten your spirits and appreciate snow for the fun magic it can create. 

Logical And Creative, Does That Describe Any Of Your Students?

This is part of a series of using Myers Briggs personality types in the classroom. For more information, click here. For information on how to figure out your student’s MBTI type, click here. 

Logical, reserved, creative, and decisive. Do these words together describe one of your students? They may be an INTJ personality type. 

Introverted 
I(N)tuition 
Thinking 
Judgment 

These logical students are forward thinkers that love to know the “why” behind learning. They need their information organized and in a logical format, they have a hard time seeing the big picture when the material is not orderly. 

INTJs have impeccable recall skills. When shown information or a picture, then taken away and asked to remember what they saw, they can often name the majority of the details. This has been thought to be because they do not reflect on what they are seeing, they simply just memorize and make a list. Just because this is a skill of theirs doesn’t mean they learn best through rote memorization. They need the why and the how of procedures and processes to truly understand a subject on a deep level. 

These introverted learners don’t necessarily do great in group work unless they see their definitive role in helping. However, this much interaction with other students can cause stress in learning and they will often need a break. Not only do they not thrive in group work, but they can also have a hard time asking a teacher for help. They would rather do everything they can independently to figure out their problem before going to a teacher for help, which can cause a student-teacher relationship to be almost impossible if the teacher isn’t putting in an effort. It’s important to keep an eye on these students and check in often to see what they need and how they are doing. 

Is your INTJ student struggling to understand long division? Go through the process as a list over and over, see if that might help them. Show him or her how long division can relate to multiplication and why those two functions work together. Give them a real-life example of when they will use long division. 

Maybe they are having a hard time in an English class using the correct verb tense in their writing. Show them a list of the rules for verb tenses and when/why we use the verb tense that we do. Give them the bigger picture of how the verb tense in one sentence relates to the verb tense in a paragraph or story as a whole.

They do not need inquiry-based for subjects they are struggling with, they need logic and rules. 

If you still would like more information about INFJ students, watch this video that explains the personality type in 4 minutes. 


Do you teach an INFJ student? What benefits have you seen from knowing your student’s personality types?