learning styles
How do you learn? There are four learning styles that influence the way we acquire information, skills and knowledge. It is truly our preferred method of interacting with the world. Learning styles are NOT:

  • Personality profiles
  • Character flaws
  • Stereotypes

That being said, we tend to express, and teach how we learn. So it is important to understand your learning styles and how it impacts your presentation style. You want to make sure  there are no restrictions upon how you deliver your message and how it impacts your students.

I first learned about the Learning Styles from Tom Martin of the ITI – Instructor Training Institute. Lets review the four Learning Styles.

Style 1: Feely-Watchers

This group always asks the question “WHY?” They learn through new experiences and by listening, feeling and thinking. They like sharing ideas and always avoid conflict and work for the harmony of the group. They like group exercises. These are the students who will walk up during a break to ask you a question, but will not ask in front of all the other people in class.

Style 2: Thinky-Watchers

This group always asks the question “WHAT?” They learn by reading new concepts and ideas, and take copious notes on the handouts. They like their facts detailed and orderly. If you skip over a page in the handout they are not happy. Interestingly enough, they will most likely not look at those notes again. That is just the way they learn. At the beginning of class I always mention something like this: “To my page counters, if I skip over a paragraph or a page do not worry! You will learn all you need to today.”

They do seek personal effectiveness,  and of course like systems. They are uncomfortable with subjective judgments, and will question you. They are hard on themselves, and don’t like to be corrected.

Style 3: Thinky-Doers

This group always asks the question “HOW?” They learn best by testing and applying. These are the students that want you to get to the point so they can practice. They have limited tolerance for learning “concepts.” Always let them know that the concepts will lead to practice so they should be patient and hold on! They enjoy independent study, are problem solvers, and are impatient and lack teamwork skills. Let them do projects with just one other person or by themselves. Let them report back to the group as a whole.

Style 4: Feely-Doers

This group always asks the question “WHAT IF?” They learn best by experimenting and experiences. These students will ask questions that you will need to put in the “parking lot” so you can answer later. They will ask subjective questions sometimes not based on a true experience.  You need to hone your platform skills to keep these people focused and not take your class off track. Be careful NOT to embarrass these people as you will alienate the rest of the class. They like to challenge status quo and enjoy crisis, informality and excitement. If you are looking for people for a panel or for a role play these are your students. They are definitely open to new ideas.

There are two kinds of teachers:  the kind that fills you with so much quail shot that you can’t move, and the kind that just gives you a little prod behind and you jump to the skies.”
Robert Frost


When does learning occur? Most learning starts between Style 2 and 3. Enough information is given that people can start applying personal application. The magic is when you organize your lesson by learning styles.  Watch for my next post on this. In every learning objective, or part of your lesson, cover each learning style in a learning wheel. You will touch every style and gain students  who really learn from you.

If you want to see what your learning styles are contact me and I will send you the form. Contact me at learning@amychorew.com


the organic fields

The kids and I getting the fields prepped

I have always had this dream to live on a farm. A little unrealistic as I was brought up in a suburb outside New York City and was never a real outdoorsy person. I read two books that really inspired me to do this. First “The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love” by Kristin Kimball. A New York reporter interviews an upstate farmer and falls in love with him and the farm. Her description of the farm from a New Yorker’s perspective hit home. Then I picked up “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. Her family leaves Arizona to live on a farm that she inherits on the East Coast. They try to live on only the food they grow on the farm. She is a great writer and this really inspired me.

I decided to align with a collaborative farm to see if I enjoyed digging around in the dirt.

What has happened in five years has been very interesting. Of the original families who started with us, only two remain. Four other families have since been added to our ranks, including my daughter and her family. Our ages range from 68 years old down to three year olds. We have brought back over 1.5 acres at a 20 acre Christmas tree farm. Our fields are all organic and no-till.

The farm has since sold, but the new owners have embraced us. They have turned it into a non-profit that does therapy and uses the farm for that. More on them later. You can check out Pillwillop Farm on Facebook.

This has been hard work, but we are able to grow enough organic vegetables to comfortably feed all of our families, plus donate to the people who visit the farm where we work,  as well as  food banks around the community.

My tale is simple – we will share with you what we are doing and please visit us if you are ever in Connecticut!

More to come on creating no-till fields, saving seeds, what we grew, rotating the fields.

Attribution: Brian Shamblen

Attribution: Brian Shamblen

So looking forward to our vacation two years, ago, we were visit Lake Tahoe! As we walked into our Tahoe Hotel, the power went out. Literally, all lights, all power. Everyone was confused, looking around. We joked that it was us that created a power surge. 6 hours later when the power came back on we had learned an interesting life lesson. This lesson inspired us to create a more self sustainable lifestyle.

Lighting during a mid-summer storm on that Sunday knocked out power to more than 31,000 utility customers.  The outage started about 3:30 p.m. More info.

Remember this is a vacation spot. Peoples’ reactions where varied. Some were upset because their vacation plans were disrupted. Others were nervous because they didn’t have provisions. Only one restaurant was open and the grocery store blocked off all the refrigerated sections because they did know how long the outage would be.

For us, we saw the line at the restaurant, walked through the grocery store and picked up a candle. We went back to the hotel, opened a bottle of wine, and had energy bars, water and wine for dinner just chatting the evening away.

It made me think. Do I have provisions to be able to stay home for 3 days without having to run to a grocery store in panic mode? At that time, I did not. Do you? What happens when you travel? Would you have what you need to be able to take care of yourself? Lots of information out there on this.

Wisdom dictates that you are able to provide for your family. We are so accustomed to getting in the car and getting what we need at the grocery store.

We have since put provisions in our home to survive a few days. Lesson learned. Watch for more posts with some suggestions.