Friday, 26 May 2017

Just a note on timely and descriptive feedback.

During teachers college we were constantly being told that "assessment drives instruction" and during my blocks, this statement could not have become more true. We as teachers do not know where to go next with our instruction until we have assessed the student. However, this statement also relates to the student directly. How will the student know where to go next without our feedback?

Monday, 6 March 2017

Blended Learning & Flipped Learning

Blended learning refers to a teaching method that combines online technology with traditional teaching methods. Students still engage in face-to-face instruction, but also engage in online content. There is no concrete formula for implementing blended learning, as it looks different in every classroom. This style of learning may be difficult to implement if the teacher is not overly “tech-savvy”. However, it is beneficial for students in that they are exposed to more 21st century styles of learning, but while still receiving the benefits of face-to-face instruction/support.

Flipped learning refers to having the instruction online and the homework being done in the classroom. When I first heard about this method of teaching a few years back, I was pretty intrigued by it. Introducing students to concepts at home and then building on those concepts during class time makes complete sense. Having students complete their homework at home where they do not have the support from their teacher, does not seem like a recipe for success. However, flipped learning definitely has its shortcomings. The most obvious issue would be limited access to technology. If students do not have computers at home, they would not be able to access the fundamental concepts needed for class the following day. Second, by having instruction occur at home, students would then be extending their school day. Students do not necessarily have homework everyday, especially depending on the teacher’s homework beliefs, so why should the student be expected to take their evening time to prepare for school the next day?

Flipped Classroom infographic can be viewed here.

Both blended and flipped learning have many wonderful benefits for both students and teachers, however, there are also many shortcomings. Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Movement in the Classroom

Today I read an interesting article about movement in the classroom, which can be found here.
"We understand language in a richer, fuller way if we can connect it to the actions we perform."

I found an interesting Ted Talk by Michael Kuczala which discusses how "learning does not happen from the neck up - it happens from the feet up"...

Michael Kuczala shared a framework about using movement in 6 different ways:
1. Preparing the brain to learn.
2. Provide brain breaks - get moving.
3. Supporting exercise and fitness.
4. Creating class cohesion or team building.
5. Reviewing content using movement.
6. Teaching content using movement. (Differentiates instruction for kinesthetic learners, takes advantage of episodic or environmental memory and makes learning implicit - the brain's preferred way to learn)

When you create a kinesthetic classroom you will get:
  • Motivated, engaged learners 
  • Higher academic acheivement
  • Students who, most of the time, are happy to do the work they need to do in the classroom

Monday, 30 January 2017

Storybook Online & Google Forms

Two very cool resources - Storybook Online & Google Forms - great for checking comprehension.