Guide your students to BUILD a "Box of Learning." Each lesson and unit of instruction you plan is spread out across a wide range of mandatory teaching topics; including the necessary curricular content of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), State and local learning benchmarks, as well as, standardized tests that evaluate not just their knowledge but our teaching ability. As a result hours of time are spent meticulously managing each curricular item and learning benchmark to ensure that it's incorporated on the surface area of the instructional unit. Your plans are written, developed and these items are checked off. When it's all done your lessons cover every curricular need and learning benchmark -- proud you are and proud you should be. Your due diligence has allowed you to embed curriculum across your content. But after some careful self-reelection you realize these lesson/s and/or those of the past are missing depth or mastery of the material and are perhaps uneventful atvities. Are you tired of your lessons falling flat on their face like a piece of card board? Are you looking to expand your teaching style?
In the off season athletes are always working on ways to improve their game. Lifting weights, speed training or perhaps honing in on one particular skill to focus on in an effort to better themselves for future competition. Educators are no different. Our off season is the summer months. For teachers this is not only a time for regeneration but also a time for self-reflection and improvement. I'd like for educators to consider doing some work with screen-casting.
The recording of your voice along with capturing on video what appears on the computer or iPad screen is known as screen-casting. This is most commonly linked to, what is known in the educational world as, "flipped" teaching. Briefly, a "flipped" teaching lesson plan is when a screen-cast is developed by an educator to present a concept and it's viewed by students as homework. This allows for the subsequent class period of instruction to focus on more depth of learning by having students collaborate, think critically, create and/or present information to their peers. Fantastic; but "flipped" teaching isn't the only use for screen-casting.
Analytical Thinking, Student Collaboration and Presentation Skills are all attributes every educator works towards implementing as much as possible. Often enough educators utilize "bell-work" as a prepartory and/or anticipatory set in their class routine and lesson plan structure. Over the past few years I've begun to weave together all of these qualities. I've found them to be successful; as such, I'm sharing with you.
The highest level of learning transpires when we teach to others. Taking this into consideration developing ways to allow students to teach to others should be a priority. This is an example of a method that can be placed in lesson plans often, even daily. As a form of "bell-work" I create analytical thought provoking questions that require students to link their prior knowledge with new concepts. Students are asked to solve a question, riddle, and/or picture mystery. Another useful strategy is to have students create skits (i.e. play charades), draw a political cartoon and/or make charts or info-graphics.
Sock Puppeteering: Makes Learning Come Alive
Are you looking for imaginative, innovative and inspirational ways to get your curriculum content across to your students? Here's an idea: Puppet Plays. Don't roll your eyes secondary teachers; this is NOT just for elementary students. Elementary educators this instruction directly involves ALL content areas. The bottom line... a Puppet Play Performance will be a hit. It will be fun and more importantly it will drive curriculum content forward in such manner that learning will not be realized by your students.
Incorporating Puppet Performances to teach curriculum content and benchmarks is not only creative but it can also be utilized as a Project Based Learning (PBL) Activity. The depth of learning that you can incorporate into a puppet play in your classroom setting is entirely up to you as the educator. I'll simply be taking you through this educational methodology to perhaps inspire you to use it in some form or fasion...
Project Based Learning: Put Students at Center Stage
Traditional Learning; What is this and how would you define it? Is "traditional learning" when students work independently at their desks with a text book and a worksheet? Or is it when a teacher presents a topic to the entire class while students dutifully take notes on paper? Maybe, a better, more concise, definition is that students learn from the teacher and take a test to prove how much learning occurred? Truly, I submit, to me Traditional Learning is all of the above. Furthermore, just to be clear, in my opinion, these approaches to education are fine. Here's where the traditional methodology of learning, as well as ALL methodologies in education, falter and go wrong: not varying or changing up the teaching techniques or pedagogical styles. Project Based Learning is a tremendous form of teaching...
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Guest BloggerZ are welcome. Please contact us.
We are Married Michigan Educators with 40+ years of combined teaching experience. One is a Elementary Educator with MA in Counseling & the other is a Middle School Principal and former U.S. History Educator for 21 years with an MA in History and Ed.S.; 17 years Varsity Football Coach; and 9 years Grade 8 Boys Basketball Coach. We are SeekrZ of Knowledge; Public Ed. Advocates; Jog-a-WalkerZ; promoters of FamilyZ being involved in school and Free Lance Writers.
Visit our home page: www.askteacherz.com
Follow us on twitter @askteacherzcom.
We are working to Transform Education through Collaboration by promoting Innovative, Imaginative and Inspirational teaching practices.
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