Archive | June 2014

Effective Classroom Management

I teach carpentry and do not spend a lot of time in typical classroom settings. We spend the majority of time in the work shop which is why classroom rules and management is of the upmost importance to me as an instructor.

I have relied on this article from Faculty Focus:
http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-classroom-management/three-simple-keys-to-effective-classroom-management/
“At the end of the day, as educators, we want to focus on learning and promoting our students’ success… it’s our duty to ensure that the classroom environment is optimal for learning. Following these tips will hopefully help you do that — our success and our students’ success depends on it”.
I connect with this part of the article in that setting the rules and tone for the classroom helps to make it the optimal learning environment. Organization is key to having a successful learning experience. This coincides with safety in the classroom.

This link from CarnegieMellon, http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/solveproblem/strat-latetoclass/ sets ground rules for students behaviours. I think it is important to set these guidelines from day one and have students acknowledge their understanding of the rules for classroom, work shop, discussions, group work, etc.

Overall, I feel that proper classroom management sets the tone to provide the best, most effective learning environment for students.

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Textbooks vs Ebooks

The following article discusses students using textbooks vs using ebooks (online) for classes:

http://chronicle.com/article/The-End-of-the-Textbook-as-We/125044/

Personally, I do not like ebooks. Call me old fashioned, but something about the bright light of a computer or iPad makes it very uncomfortable for me to read what is on the screen. Yes, I understandthat using ebooks can help to keep costs down and make less of an impact on the environment. However, I just feel that textbooks still hold their value and importance when it comes to education.

Quote of the Day

rogers-quote-facilitation-of-learning

I felt that this quote went well with my post below regarding visual learning. I have always associated and felt understanding of Carl Rogers theories. When asked who I related with in regards to teaching theories in another PIDP class, I had chosen Kolb, Dewey and Rogers. It is interesting that I keep coming back to the same theories. I suppose I have found what truly works for me as an instructor. Of course basing myself off of these and continuing to learn and grow and form my own theory has become a wonderful journey.

Visible Learning

The question was posed in our classroom discussion forum: Are you a change agent or a facilitator?

Over the course of my PIDP education, I have become to recognize myself as a facilitator.

This comparison was posted as well:

An Activator:
Reciprocal teaching
Feedback
Teaching students self-verbalization
Meta-cognition strategies
Direct Instruction
Mastery learning
Goals – challenging
Frequent/ Effects of testing
Behavioral organizers

Vs.

A Facilitator
Simulations and gaming
Inquiry based teaching
Smaller class sizes
Individualized instruction
Problem-based learning
Different teaching for boys & girls
Web-based learning
Whole Language Reading
Inductive teaching

Hattie, J., (year unknown). Visible Learning, Tomorrow’s Schools, The Mindsets that make the difference in Education, Visible Learning Laboratories University of Auckland

After reviewing the comparison, I still believe my teaching strategies fall more into the Facilitator category. While I do believe in using mastery learning, challenging goals, and feedback, I rely more on simulations, real life situations, smaller class sizes of students and most importantly, problem based learning.

What is your Learning Style?

Based on a questionnaire from http://www.personal.psu.edu/bxb11/LSI/LSI.htm I received the following results:

Based on your input, you are a(n): Auditory learner.

If you are an AUDITORY learner, you may wish to use tapes. Tape lectures to help you fill in the gaps in your notes. But do listen and take notes, reviewing notes frequently. Sit in the lecture hall or classroom where you can hear well. After you have read something, summarize it and recite it aloud.

Although tests like this are fairly generic, I do believe it helped me to grasp a better understanding of how I learn and how I will probably base my teaching. I find it difficult to listen in to a lecture and take notes. I would much rather learn by doing something with my hands. Luckily for me, in carpentry, the teaching demands for students to learn by doing. I can’t remember taking very many notes during my education so I suppose I am in the right field. I have taken other tests about myself and it is interesting to see how you get labeled.

Quote for today

118876-Learning+quotes+teachers+open+

I love this quote and I have used in in my assignments previously, but I like to look back and reflect on it and this is a perfect place to have it ready when I need it. I connect with it as an educator but also as a lifelong learner (especially now in the PIDP).

Bridging the Generational Tech Gap

http://chronicle.com/article/Bridging-the-Generational-Tech/128304/

This is a great article, especially for myself. As a 40(something) year old carpenter that has been stuck “on the tools” for over 20 years, I have little-to-no experience with any of the new technologies that instructors use today. Taking the PIDP courses has opened my eyes to the fact that regardless of my background, as an instructor I will need to play “catch up” when it comes to technologies. Social media, email, powerpoint presentations, online videos, I need to take the time to learn it all. Not just because there are younger people who may become more qualified, but because it is the way of the world. There is no escaping it! And the fact of the matter is, I want to learn more and be able to utilize more technology in my classroom. I feel that there is a lot of good that can come from incorporating new techniques into my classroom.
So I think I will start with the basics. Typing class. No more “two-finger” typing for me. It takes forever!

Teaching Metacognition

3177-learning-how-to-learn-is-one-of-the-most-important-skills
http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/10/smart-strategies-that-help-students-learn-how-to-learn/

This link will lead you to a page titled Smart Strategies that help students learn how to learn.

“Teaching students how to learn is as important as teaching them content.”

I know the whole topic of metacognition is not new, but I feel that it is valuable to giving your students the best chance at success. I have seen students struggle with certain topics and feel they are not good enough, not smart enough. As an instructor I have the opporunity to show them there are concrete strategies they can use to increase their learning. As teachers we must begin to show our students that there are tools to use to be successful as a student. “Teaching students good learning strategies would ensure that they know how to acquire new knowledge, which leads to improved learning outcomes”, writes lead author Helen Askell-Williams of Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. In my class, we always begin with asking the students what, if any, prior knowledge or experience do they have of the subject matter. If we are working on concrete forms, for example, I would ask if they had any opportunities on their apprenticeship to work on these. It helps to relate the subject matter to something they have already done or learnt in the past. I feel that the questions the author uses at the bottom of the article are very helpful. They tie into student questionnaires that I use to help guide the learning process.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation occurs when we are motivated to perform a behavior or engage in an activity in order to earn a reward or avoid a punishment.

Examples of behaviors that are the result of extrinsic motivation include:
•Studying because you want to get a good grade
•Cleaning your room to avoid being reprimanded by your parents
•Participating in a sport in order to win awards
•Competing in a contest in order to win a scholarship

In each of these examples, the behavior is motivated by a desire to gain a reward or avoid a negative outcome.

Intrinsic motivation involves engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; essentially, performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward.

Examples of behaviors that are the result of intrinsic motivation include:
•Participating in a sport because you find the activity enjoyable
•Solving a word puzzle because you find the challenge fun and interesting
•Playing a game because you find it exciting

In each of these instances, the person’s behavior is motivated by an internal desire to participate in an activity for its own sake.

I feel that intrinsic motivation is of the upmost importance. Students, and all people alike, strive to feel that value of something inside of them, almost like their worth. People will give in to extrinsic motivation rewards but in the long run I think intrinsic DOES have more importance over extrinsic motivation.

Here is an article I have enjoyed reading:

http://www.teachthought.com/teaching/the-importance-of-intrinsic-motivation-in-transforming-learning/

“Extrinsic motivators don’t get students truly engaged in their learning, they make school analogous to a job–something that has to be done. If we want our systems to be as strong as they can possibly be we need to explicitly foster an intrinsic motivation in each of our students.”

Problem Based Learning

For Assignment 1, I chose to do my instructional strategy video on Problem Based Learning (PBL). I felt that PBL was closely related to my field of carpentry and I wanted an opportunity to research it further. I chose to do my video in powerpoint format and then convert it into a video and added voice. I then uploaded the video onto youtube and will post the link below. I am enjoying the challenge of becoming more fluent in technology (it is a big learning curve for me!).
http://youtu.be/MkwmVofMcfs