Reflections Post

Effective teaching is the process of engaging students enough that they take from a lesson and learn to apply it to their daily living.  My definition has only changed a minor amount, focusing more on how effective teaching is done.  My new definition includes engagement of students, and applying their learned knowledge to their daily lives.  This course has taught me how to find more credible resources by asking for reliable quality information.  This course helped teach me how children grow by reviewing Vygotsky’s theory, the zone of proximal development.  This class has taught me children learn differently due to things such as location, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity.  I have learned how to teach and manage a classroom through our required presentation, and being able to teach our class about different aspects of learning.  Working with others on the presentation helped teach me good communication, and how it is necessary in teaching.  Different kinds of lessons were accessible to us, and still are, through our blogs and require Backwards Design lesson plan model.  Testing for student progress and evaluating ourselves has been learned by having to teach our class about cognitive aspects of learning and seeing if they retained the information.  Also, our great teacher requested us to evaluate her, so that must be important in being a good teacher.  Finally, we were able to connect with other teachers and the community through being interactive with our classmates through our blog.  The most significant thing I have learned in this class is to keep an open mind and constantly evaluate myself and my surroundings.  I believe that keeping an open mind will help me approach all students in my career and be able to teach them something.  The teacher of this course required constant evaluation, whether it be in our blog post, or general feedback in class, and I believe that it has help me become more aware of how much change happens so quickly.  I plan to continue my online portfolio by maintaining posts, and updating it with new found lessons and information.  I plan to store any; lesson plans, activities, or other useful information on my online profile, to show my versatility.  Overall, I am glad my teacher took this approach on this class, and I can’t wait to use it more often throughout my career.

Scholar Blog Post

This semester in Teaching Human Abilities and Learning, I found many of the topics covered in class were very relatable and applicable to lessons I intend to teach.   In Module 5 and 6, we discovered the truth about multi-tasking and the fact that it is virtually impossible.  This topic was very interesting to me because it relates to student engagement, student interests, and how teachers can produce authentic learning experiences.

In the beginning of the module, I was much like the students at M.I.T. when asked if they felt they could multi-task efficiently.  Most of them said yes with confidence and without hesitation. Some even said that it is necessary for them to stay awake, or pay any attention at all.  However, it was evident that students weren’t truly multi-tasking, but switch-tasking at high rates of speed.  “Switching from task to task, you think you’re actually paying attention to everything around you at the same time. But you’re actually not,” is what Professor Miller said in the 2008 article, Think You’re Multitasking? Think Again” (Hamilton 2008).  The article emphasized that giving something undivided attention refers to keeping our focus on one activity, and making it important.  Learning is better achieved when students can devote full attention to one task, and switch between tasks smoothly to ensure they understand the lesson being taught.  I also found the information regarding catching and holding interests, discussed in the K12 Horizon Report.  It related a lot to students being engaged, and holding interests when addressing authentic learning experiences.

“One participating teacher noted that students are more engaged and enthusiastic when performing authentic scientific investigations” (Horizon Report 2016).  Facts like these are what prove that students have more enthusiasm when they are engaged. The switch-tasking that is provided by technology is usually between, options of their choice, and learning the lesson.  This means that students should have a limited amount of access they have to the technology provided.  Another source from our textbook relates this concept to technology, and how it has benefits and consequences.  “For example, Mathew Mitchell (1993) found that using computers, groups, and puzzles caught students’ interest in secondary mathematics classes, but the interests did not hold” (Woolfolk 2018).  This proves that excessive amounts of technology are not useful in teaching lessons and creating authentic learning experiences.  The student’s interest can be lost to the visuals provided by technology, and their engagement directed towards interest in the technology and no longer aimed towards the lesson.  In the article, Preparing Students for Life and Work by Margaret Hilton published by Issues in Science and Technology, Hilton states “They need deeper learning, which the committee defined as the process through which a person becomes capable of taking what was learned in one situation and applying it to new situations—in other words, learning for transfer” (Hilton 2015).  Finally, Simulations and the Construction of Knowledge published an article by Lisa Galarneau in 2005 called “Authentic Learning Experiences Through Play.  In the article Galarneau stated “An unmotivated learner is simply incapable of taking enough interest in something to engage in the process of construction” (Galarneau 2005).  This statement further clarifies that students require a balanced level of engagement and interest in order to achieve authentic learning experiences.  Engagement is interactively keeping interest, while interest is the sparking of curiosity.  Being actively engaged and keeping a students’ interests will help to cement the understanding of the lesson or skill being taught.

Discussing these topics throughout the semester in this class helped me identify important concepts that need to be addressed in my teaching career.   I will be able to use the information I learned in this class in developing and planning lessons for my students.  With a diverse arsenal of approaches, tactics, and techniques to deliver to my students, I believe that my ability to relate with students and create authentic learning experiences will be more efficient.  I do believe that identifying ways to make learning for children easier, instead of trying to control the way children learn, will benefit what lessons are for, and how they benefit individuals when they learn them.

 

Anita, W. (2008). Educational Psychology, Active Learning Edition.

 

Galarneau, L. L. (2005). Authentic learning experiences through play: Games, simulations and the construction of knowledge. Simulations and the Construction of Knowledge.

 

Hamilton, J. (2008). Think you’re multitasking? Think again. NPR: National Public Radio: News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts.

 

New Media Consortium. (2014). NMC Horizon Report 2014 Higher Education Edition.

Module 6 Blog Post

Technology can be used to further engage students when they are learning.  This is because of the amount of stimulation it provides, which is key to getting lessons to be more personable and interesting.  Just like most things, technology can only be used to an extent before it becomes excessive and distracting.  I believe that technology can be used to deepen instruction dependent upon the lesson that is being taught.  In an article titled “Think your’e multitasking, think again,” heard on the Wisconsin Public Radio in 2008, Jon Hamilton dives further in to the reason that using technology in class gets tricky.  It is because we, as human beings, don’t truly multitask, rather we switch-task at very high speeds.  “You cannot focus on one while doing the other. That’s because of what’s called interference between the two tasks,” Said Miller.  When relating this to technology in classroom, it is difficult to allow students access to technology because of their inability to focus on instruction and the technology.  In order to properly incorporate technology in a classroom, the teacher must have set amounts of time where students use the technology, and time where they are instructed to learn without the technology.  In my module 5 blog post I touched on learner-centered lesson planning, and how that would play a role in my teaching.  I plan to use this concept when dealing with technology as well.  Instead of classes being technology-centered, I plan to organize times in my lesson plan to use technology, but still be focused on the students and the way they are learning.  I plan to do this by asking plenty of discussion questions, assigning written tests, consistently assessing the students learning, and actively working with the students on their behavior.

Morning Edition article: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95256794

Module 5 Blog Post

I intend to use motivation to drive my students to engage themselves in the lessons provided.  This will encourage them to feel free to indulge in activities.  The more students feel free to be themselves and enjoy the learning process, the easier it will be to engage them, and install values.  I plan to use goals and objectives to motivate the students to do their best in all activities provided.  When students have a reason to improve their willingness to get better increases greatly.  I also plan to use responsibilities to motivate students to behave accordingly while in class.  The learner-centered method of teaching will be used as a basic guideline that I will build my lesson plans around.  By this I mean, when making lesson plans for my students, I plan to keep in mind the learner-centered method, and revolve my activities around the learners’ needs.  Classroom designs, principles, and frameworks will depend on the lessons being taught.  I plan to install principles that require respect, which I intend to use as a framework that will keep the students engaged, enthusiastic, and aware of their choices and actions.  Formats such as the Backwards Design will be used to further structure the lessons I choose, giving me the ability to adjust the lesson so that it covers each students’ needs.

 

 

STAGE 1 – OVERVIEW

Unit Title: Adventure/Cooperation                                                                      

 

Students Will Be Able to:

●      (Cognitive) Have a greater understanding of self-awareness and be able to define key concepts of how to be a better leader over the period of the unit

 

●      (Affective) Develop strategies with other classmates and develop cooperation and teamwork skills over the period of the unit

 

●      (Psychomotor) Use locomotor, non-locomotor, and other sport knowledge to help complete the task at hand

Questions:

●      What did you enjoy most about the activity?

 

●      What was the biggest challenge you and your group faced in the activity?

 

●      If you were to try this again what might you do differently?

 

Standards Covered:

●      Standard 2: Applies movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills.

 

●      Standard 7: Understands that physical activity provides the opportunity for enjoyment, challenge, self expression, and social interaction.

 

 

 

 

 

Expected Understandings:

●      Demonstrates cooperation skills by establishing rules and guidelines for resolving conflicts.

 

●      Problem-solves with a small group of classmates during adventure activities, small-group initiatives or game play.

 

●      Exhibits responsible social behaviors by cooperating with classmates, demonstrating inclusive behaviors and supporting classmates.

 

STAGE 2 – ASSESSMENT

Types Of Assessment:

●     Written Journal: provide a few questions about participation, responsibility, and interaction.

●     Discussion: bring the group together and ask them questions about the activities performed.

●     Test: provide a written test for the students to fill out after activities

●     Personal Checklist: provide a checklist for students, covering the lessons to be learned during the activity.

Notes:

1.     Be sure to ask questions that identify: the amount of effort given by the students, the interaction of the students, and what was most important to them.

2.    With the personal checklist, assure to take note of the students general activity during the lesson, and see if their response is truthful and honest or not.

Assessment Criteria:

●     Students will identify that daily activities fall under different forms of exercise.

●     Students will identify which exercises require more frequency and which require more intensity.

●     Students will have a better understanding of physical fitness and its’ usefulness to maintaining their health and lifestyle.

 

STAGE 3–LEARNING PLAN/SCHEDULE

Summary of Learning Activities: Continuous Relay

1.    equip students, help them experience the key ideas, and explore the issues of integration and individual abilities. (choosing which students to run which leg of the relay)

2.    provide opportunities to rethink and revise their understandings and work. (run the relay twice or three times)

3.    allow students to evaluate their work and its implications. (provide students time between relays to talk about their tactics)

4.    be tailored to the different needs, interests, abilities of learners (provide enough types of races in the relay for all individuals to have a strength and a weakness

5.    be organized to maximize initial and sustained engagement as well as effective learning (have the relays set-up prior to class, with each relay being different)

 

Above is a version of the Backward Design template that I’ve been working on for this class.  In the lesson plan I work to incorporate adventure education and cooperation in to a lesson intended to teach communication, the awareness of others and their capabilities, and how to utilize others in order to obtain a goal.  This lesson plan template helped me identify what exactly I wanted to teach the students.  It also helped me build activities that pin-pointed what I wanted the students to learn.  This lesson plan design is useful because it covers all things necessary when deciding what to teach students, and how.

Module 4 Blog Post

The differences between the behaviorist and cognitive perspectives happens to be their focus, and what directly affects the way they work.  The behaviorist perspective focuses on the individual stages of growth, and how individuals tend to respond to information during these intervals.  Cognitive on the other hand focuses more on how information is brought in to the brain, how it stored, and how it is later used to make understanding more thorough.  It is important to apply both of these perspectives of learning to instruction because of the different ways they affect the learning of students.  Cognitive should be applied because it will help the retention of knowledge, and increase the efficiency in which students learn lessons.  While the behaviorist perspective will help identify what lessons each student will be able to comprehend best.  The cognitive views reside in my beliefs in regards to the role of teacher, peers, and students.  This is because of the affects and results that the cognitive perspective provides.  It focuses on the use of lessons learned and prior knowledge to influence how knowledge is processed.  If processing knowledge is taught well, it will allow students to rule out misconceptions, gain more accurate and complete knowledge, and teach effective strategies and coping methods to deal with everyday life.  I plan to use the behaviorist perspective as a structure to my curriculum and lesson plans, as to what kind of attention certain students need, and the difficulty level needed for the classroom as a whole.  I also plan to use the behaviorist perspective to identify the actions of students, and which techniques I should use to approach inappropriate behaviors.  I plan to use the cognitive perspective  as a guideline to how lessons will be taught most effectively, and how to approach my students with the lessons.  The combination of the two perspectives will provide a very well structured approach to the students I teach, along with a repertoire of solutions and approaches to any behavior that a student chooses to react with.

Module 3 Blog

In my future career as a physical education teacher, I expect to encounter differences from both the staff and the students I am working with.  When it comes to staff I am assuming that most of my differences will be about teaching styles, and what to do when dealing with children.  With students I assume most of my differences will revolve around seeing eye-to-eye with given rules and consequences, and what may be considered fair.  I intend to sit down with teachers that I encounter differences with, and discuss options which we can take to progress and better handle difficult situations.  If differences occur spur of the moment, I intend to compromise as much as possible and avoiding further difficulty with the child being worked with.  When dealing with children I encounter differences with, I intend to help them identify their actions, and teach them coping methods to deal with difficult situations.  Individual and cultural differences will be initially dealt with by establishing a rule that addresses how to deal with those situations.  It will involve treating others nicely regardless of their culture, and giving one another the chance to describe their view and for others to listen.  If this rule is breached, and an individual needs further evaluation, I plan to have a sit down with the individuals involved, individually at first, then in a group, and then with parents, to devise a solution.  A difference that I plan to deal with in my future has to do with being black, white, or both, and how it affects an individuals “placement” amongst their peers.  If the predicament carries beyond the rule I have in place, I plan to have a specific approach when addressing an issue such as this.  I plan to involve leaders who have fought for equal rights, and to identify the idea of discrimination and how it makes people feel.  I believe that planning for a situation that involves discrimination is important because it can be applied to not only, black or white people, but individuals of any culture, ethnicity or religious belief.  Being ready for situations can resolve a lot of tension between children, and help them recognize equity, and how to treat other people at a young age.  This will hopefully change their perspective of how the world works, and assist them in accepting all people.

Module 2 Blog Post

There are many ways in which a person develops and constructs their knowledge.  It is very much dependent upon how the individual was raised and their preference as to what they feel helps then learn most efficiently.  This may be the fact that they comprehend more when reading, hearing, or actively doing what ever it is they are learning.  Another few factors would be the role of parents, the role of peers, or even the role of media within the individuals life.  After the information has been presented to an individual, the brain immediately begins relating the experience to previous experiences that the individual has previously been involved in.  As an individual experiences more situations, their brain begins to go through maturation.  Piaget’s four stage theory includes; sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages.  The sensorimotor stage is when infants and very young children are learning to identify shapes, textures, and other simplistic concepts.  The preoperational stage is when toddlers are learning their sense of self in the world.  The preoperational stage is when children being their own theory of mind, and how other people may feel or think about the world around them.  The third stage is the concrete operational stage where they experience decentration, where they understand more than one aspect of situations.  The final stage of Piaget’s, which is formal operational, is when young individuals begin to think more theoretically with more reason and abstract thinking.  Limitations of Piaget’s theory would be over-simplifying stages of people’s lives, and categorizing individuals when they may seem to be between stages.  Benefits of this model would be being able to better identify where exactly a child may be in their intellectual progression.  I believe that the role of parents can help any child at any stage of Piaget’s theory progress to where they should be, or even further.  My parents always told me that they never talked to me in “baby talk.”  They always asked me questions as if I were an adult, even when I was an infant.  Their role in my life, and the way they applied themselves as parents helped progress me further as an intellect.  It was noticeable in the questions I asked my teachers, or in the way that I applied my knowledge to my schooling.  One experience was more recent, and much more identifiable when I learned Piaget’s theory.  Usually I try to answer any questions that are asked in class in the best way possible, covering as much as I can.  However, in our last class meeting for this class, I decided to let other people answer and explain their view on Piaget’s theory, and I could tell that other students weren’t elaborating and taking the discussion any further than the face value it was presented in.  I ended up identifying how individuals can be between stages in Piaget’s theory, by pointing out how my teachers daughter had some aspects of the concrete operational stage, but more of the preoperational characteristics.  I was also able to identify that the reason for this may be because of what her daughters teachers had been focusing on in school.  I give credit to my parents authoritative approach and their refusal to talk to me as if I wasn’t ready to comprehend.  I believe their expectancies of me to progress as much as I could as an intellect, have benefitted me in my cognitive processing, and the speed in which it works.

Module 1 Blog Post

The relationship between research between and practice is complicated, but very efficient when successfully producing higher quality learning to be taught to students.  This is largely due to the way they work to inform each other, and the ability to both; practice in education, and conduct research at the same time.  A good example of this can be seen in a recent debate about homework, and whether or not it should be assigned or not.  The situation could be researched, as to whether homework is beneficial or not to improving student performance, by allowing the teacher to run his class this way.  However, attempting to research students’ performance while teaching them at the same time may have some negative effects.  One thing that could be a problem is the teachers’ ability to give adequate attention to the students and their learning while researching and assessing their student performance.  This could lead to the teacher paying more attention to some students more than others, not being able to focus on the lesson plan due to research activity.  Ultimately, the question is, if risking student performance improvement with possible distractions is worth the research or not.  Given this, it is complicated as to how research is conducted while in practice with education.  To avoid these distraction to students, researchers and teacher collaborate in a way that allows the research to still be conducted, while the students are given full attention.  This is usually done by having the researcher observe the teacher while they teach.  Researcher is given a specific characteristic to watch for, while the teacher tries different methods of teaching.   They then meet with each other and discuss their findings.  I am not sure if research has been conducted by a teacher while they were teaching but I personally wouldn’t advise it.  A students understanding is too valuable to chance with any kind of distraction.  “The goal of P.L.94-142 is to guarantee equal education opportunity for all”(Lowenbraun 1978). This means, by law, teachers are to exclude as much distraction as possible, and attempt to fully grasp the attention of their students.  Which leads me to why I believe that homework should be used to improve student performance.  Since performance is improved after practice, an adequate amount of practice balanced with proper reflection can result in better understanding.  Going back to the least restrictive environment, I also believe that homework can cause for some restriction. Thus, the teacher must make it important not to make homework overwhelming or seem inapplicable to everyday life. They must also make sure there is an arousal to the assigned work.  A good analogy would be a teacher on a tight rope, balancing students on one end and books on the other end of their balancing stick.

Lowenbraun, S., & Affleck, J. (1978). Least restrictive environment.

Week 1 Blog Post

My name is Brooks Jackson and I am studying to be a physical education teacher at UW-Whitewater.  As long as I can remember the physical use and other aspects of the human body has always grabbed my attention.  My initial focus coming out of high school was to be a physical therapist, so that I could help people with physical discomfort.  I was told to tackle my most difficult classes my freshman year by my advisor at UW-Oshkosh, which ended up intimidating me out of pursuing the kinesiology major.  I thought its’ course was too rigorous.   After a year of undecided activity at a technical college, I found my way to UW-Whitewater where my advising has helped catch me up in my new program. With a handful of credits from my prior pursuits, I decided to change my major to physical education.  I did this in the realization that I could continue helping young people better understand their; health, wellness, and physical relation to the world around them.

Throughout my journey, I’ve gotten to meet some outstanding people, and gain different perspectives on why teaching physical education is important to society.  My P.E. teachers from elementary and middle school were the greatest influnce for me.  This is because of the relationship they built for me and physical education at a young age.  When I looked back to their methods and techniques of teaching, I realized that they engaged students on a personal level.  It was a lot like the scene from Dead Poets Society, when the teacher gathered his students and read Shakespeare voiced from actors they were familiar with.  Another influence or inspiration that I could think of would be a current teacher of mine name Jay Cameron.  The main reason I find him suitable as a role model teacher, is because of how invested he is in to helping others understand, and how he helps them gain their understanding of the physical world around them.  His nurturing approach allows for students to feel comfortable, all while he is encouraging them to fully experience and enjoy themselves while learning.

Last but not least, my Mother has been the main source of influence in my pursuit of my career.  She has helped me finish what I’ve began by reminding me how I deserve to shine, and that I can’t allow others to bring me down.  Her attitude reminds me a lot of the speech given by Timo Cruz in the movie Coach Carter.

Again, I think these people were, and are, important to my career in physical education because of how they made the subject seem friendly, easy-going, and enjoyable.  Also, they inspired me to remain persistent through my toughest challenges, and accomplish my dream of helping students learn new life perspectives that will better themselves.  With these tools I plan to take the techniques and strategies I have witnessed, and use them in my own way, allowing younger people to gain a better understanding of physical aspects of life.