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.
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.
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
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
● 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?
● 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.
● 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.
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.
● 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.