EDU 6526, “Generating and Testing Hypothesis”

For week 7 in EDU 6526, we read Chapter 9, Generating and Testing Hypothesis, in Classrooom Instruction That Works, by Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, and Stone.  We also used the companion book a Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works, by Pitler & Stone, to self-assess our current performance in creating opportunities for our students that require them to generate and test hypothesis.

In self-assessing my-self in this area of instruction, I would have to give myself a very low score.  Unfortunately, I was not able to provide my learners with opportunities to generate and test hypothesis during my student teaching in World Geography. I am disappointed that I was unable to provide the opportunity for my students to work more with their own thoughts on the content material.  Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone, state that I could do this in the classroom through “system analysis, problem solving, experimental inquiry, and investigation” (p138).

For one of my lessons on green energy, I first introduced some of the more standard green energies.  We made list of the pros and cons for each one and then, as a class, the students chose one that we should install at our school.  In the process, we worked as a class to put together a loose letter we would send to the principal to pitch our idea.  The students were doing some good thinking with the material, but that was the end of the lesson.  I could have, as the text suggest, facilitated the students in doing more in depth research as to their choice by having them, “try your solution, either in reality or through simulation” (p140).  There are some schools in the area that already have solar panels, we could have contacted them.  There might also be schools that might have other sources in action, we could have performed more of an investigation to find out what some other schools are already doing.  This would have taken more time, but it would have created a great chance for the students to do research, and potentially make connections with students at other schools, in essence breaking down walls.

A classmate of mine also commented on how effective these strategies would be in teaching about consequences for behavior.  In the self-contained room that I was a part of last year, the students had a course that dealt with social skills.  If I were teaching a class on social skills, there is some great material to use with the students to have them create dialogue around different challenging situations they may have encountered, experience, or are concerned about.

As a special education instructor, I will be trying to facilitate my students in utilizing their strengths in order to reach their educational goals.  However, I would also like to impart skills that will enable them to be able to navigate the complexities of the modern world.   As Dean, Hubbell, Pitler, & Stone write, “What we ultimately want students to be able to do is find issues that are important to them, gather as much information as possible from a wide variety of resources that represent various viewpoints and motivations, and test- to the best of their abilities-the viability of these claims in order to inform their own decisions” (p149).   I hope to be able to create these higher level thinking opportunities by building relationships, utilizing strengths, and providing the proper amount of scaffolding to enhance my students’ abilities to be critical thinkers.

References

Dean, C. B., Hubble, E. R., Pitler, H. and Stone, B.  (20012). Classroom Instruction That Works.

2nd edition. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Pitler, H. & Stone, B. (2012) A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works. 2nd edition.  Alexandria,

VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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ISTE Standard 2 Reflection

For the ISTE 2 standard, I developed this question: Utilizing technology, how can I create formative and summative assessments that facilitate student growth and excitement that enriches the classroom experience?

In doing research for this question, I came across the Khan Academy and was immediately intrigued.  In serving students’ in special education, I will have to be open to all teaching tools that have the potential to increase student learning.  The Khan Academy is a free resource that teachers and students can use that provides students with videos to watch and matching assessments to take.  The classroom experience is flipped for students and teachers.  The lessons are viewed at home and during time in class, students’ are assisted in trying to utilize the lesson material to solve problems.  There is the potential to alter the dynamics in a classroom to increase peer to peer and teacher student interactions.  There will be challenges with students finding time and resources necessary to take advantage of Khan Academy but it also has the additional benefit of increasing family involvement.  The Khan Academy videos and assessments could be utilized for specific students or the whole classroom.

From my classmate Michael Warren, I have also been introduced to a great link that contains suggestions for utilizing different technologies that will benefit the different learning strengths that students’ possess.  The site is focused around Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and provides technological tools that are a good match for the different multiple intelligences.  A challenge faced in special education is trying to design lesson material with students’ strengths in mind.  This article will facilitate in the process.

From our course reading materials, I enjoyed reading about the possibility of creating virtual laboratories for conducting science experiments in the NMC Horizon Report.  The report touts the potential of providing students with greater access to costly equipment that most schools might not be able to afford (p 32).  This could potentially lead to an enriched classroom experience for both students and teachers. As a teacher, if the opportunity arose, I could choose to purchase computer equipment that could serve multiple benefits across subject matters instead of just a science specific piece of equipment that only served one function.

In designing lessons, a question that I will ask myself is: Am I taking full advantage of all the technological resources at my disposal to increase student learning and growth?  In order for me to be able to answer this question accurately, I will need to stay up to date myself on the potential tools available.  This class has increased my knowledge of how I can increase students learning opportunity through technology.  I’m sure it will continue to do so.

Links and Reference

http://www.calpoly.edu/~lfose/articles/Exploring_Technology.pdf

https://www.khanacademy.org/#mission-statement

Johnson, L.,(2013). The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K12 Edition.

New Media Consortium, 1-44.

 

Teacher Observation- Co-Teaching Reading and Writing

O2. – Offer appropriate challenge in the content area.

Opener and Closer.-I observed in a first and second period 6th grade reading and writing class.  The learning goals for the period were written up on the board as “Teaching points”.  The first activity was a guessing game.  The students had previously filled out small sheets of paper in which they had provided a written example of an action, dialogue, detail, and setting.  The teacher read these out loud and the students tried to guess which student had written them.  When prompted as to why they were doing this, the students replied, “it creates teamwork”, “helps us develop dialogue”, and “keeps our moral up”.  For the beginning of new material for the lesson on “perspectives”. The teacher showed a cartoon of a man on a small island surrounded by water with hands raised saying “a boat!” and the person in the boat saying “land!”  The students were asked to give thumbs up when they understood it, then talked to their neighbor, followed by sharing with the class.  The closer was having the students write in their reader notebooks, ways in which the main characters perspective was influenced by some of the secondary character’s after silent reading.

Questioning– Both teachers used excellent questions.  Questions that asked students to think for themselves and expand on their answers to describe why they thought or felt a particular way.  Equal number of boys and girls were called on and participated in the discussion, always by raising their hands.  Questions were also used for quick formative assessment.  Show a thumbs up for when ready to discuss.  Share with the group what was discussed. Questions were also asked requiring students to process the value in doing certain activities.

Classroom Management– This was an extremely well behaved classroom.  Students were aware of the expectation of having their materials out and ready to go at the beginning of the period.  If they didn’t they would be marked tardy.  It was clear and well followed that students would raise their hands to participate in discussions.  One teacher would be talking and the other teacher would make sure the other students were listening and following along.  “1-2-3” was said out loud to bring the group back together effectively.  There were posters on the walls that the students and teachers had co-created earlier in the year.  These posters dealt with class expectations and also suggestions for learning; what does is look like to be prepared for class, how will we participate in discussions, appropriate and inappropriate dialogue, how to keep conversations going. A word wall with the alphabet and new vocab words that were added to the letters on the wall.

Instructional Strategies. Numerous instructional strategies were used that ensured an ability for the teachers to assess their students’ level of engagement.  Show a thumbs up, think-pair-share, thinking prompt with a cartoon, guess which student wrote examples of; action, dialogue, setting, detail.  Readers notebooks were utilized for creating interactions with content.  For this day, the students were working on their seventh entry: Perspective- synthesizing and then writing prompt “how do the secondary characters influence or offer a new perspective to our protagonist”. It was also suggested that students could draw a picture that would help the visual learners.  The teacher modeled a diagram of this for the students’.  During the class, the teachers also handed back a writing project that the students’ had submitted.  The writing assignment was graded on a rubric.  The rubric for the writing sample was discussed and read aloud, detailing how students could meet the standards.  Students that were not happy with their rubric score were given the option of re-doing some of their writing to improve their scores. Utilizing a rubric written in appropriate language, and allowing students to improve their score, are what I think are great examples of the HOPE standard –O2 – Offer appropriate challenge in the content areaThe teachers were encouraging students to try and improve their scores regardless of where they fell on the rubric.  This struck me as a positive way of challenging students to improve their skills for the writing assessment rubric while simultaneously achieving their writing goal for the day of “writers celebrate one another’s success & next steps”.  Marzano (2007), says “Focusing on knowledge gain also provides a legitimate way to recognize and celebrate- as opposed to reward-success” (p. 27).  The evidence provided for this post is below.  These teaching points were visible, written in student friendly language, provided the students with a good focus for the class, and an appropriate challenge in the content area.

Use of Technology. The topic of the book that the students were working with dealt with migrant farm workers.  Students were encouraged to go home and do internet researches on the author Francisco Jimenez, Cesar Chavez, migrant farming in Washington, or the grape boycott.

teaching points

Marzano, R. J. (2007). The art and science of teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

 

 

vision for success

I envision learning effective teaching skills through SPU’s ARC program, and utilizing them in practice through my internship when applicable.  I will do this by putting forth my best effort academically to take full advantage of the learning opportunities presented.  I will use the HOPE principles for my goals in working towards competency.  During my internship, I will seek out opportunities to incorporate the skills I am learning in the classroom, to be of better service to my students.

My work ethic, dedication, compassion, and strong desire to see students learn will enable me to be a successful teacher.  I will strive to create a classroom that is inclusive, supportive, and embraces the learning potential of every student.  In doing so, I will create a community of learners in which we will all be able to reach our full potential.