Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Looking at Learning ... Again


Check Out Self Check

Self Check Activities from the Workshops

Workshop 2 -- "Going to the Movies"

Recall the "Going to the Movie" problem that you did at the start of Workshop 2. Select two students who you think will approach the problem differently, and predict how they will solve the problem. Then present the problem to the students. You may need to ask some probing questions, such as:

  • How did you find your answer?
  • How do you know that there are no more possibilities?
  • Is there any other way you could have solved the problem?

After working with both students, compare their approaches to your original predictions. What impressed you most about their problem solving methods? What surprised you? What can you do in your teaching that will enable you to continue to learn these kinds of things about your students?


Workshop 4 --Student Narrative

Select one of your students and write a brief narrative from his/her perspective answering the question, "How do I learn science/mathematics in the class?" Some questions to guide your narrative might include:

  • What do I do? What is my job in this class?
  • What does my teacher do? What is his/her job?
  • What is the job of the other students in the class?

Now interview the student, asking the same questions. How did his/her actual answers compare to the response you anticipated in your narrative? Were there similarities? Differences? What do these similarities/differences mean in terms of your teaching? In terms of your students' learning?

If you have time, interview a second student. Not all students will respond the same way, and it's sometimes useful to compare answers.


Workshop 5 -- Student Discussion

How comfortable are you with letting students develop and pursue their own inquiry? To test your comfort level, try this -- during the next week, incorporate into a lesson some sort of class discussion in which students can talk about their opinions or rationales for solving something. During this class discussion, see how many times you can let the comments pass from student to student without an intervening question or comment from you. It's not easy!

How many students were able to speak consecutively before you spoke? When did you intervene? Why? What sort of discussion was happening when you jumped in? What could you do next time to let the discussion go further on its own?


Workshop 6 -- Student Groups

Think about how you normally group students for activities, projects, seating, or other purposes. What criteria have you used in grouping? Make a list of the ways you have used. Now consider ways you could group students according to Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (MI). Do you think grouping students according to MI criteria would affect student performance? Try it!

Workshop 7 -- Designing a Sheet/Blanket Folder

Folding sheets and blankets neatly is easy when someone is around to help you, but hard for one person to do alone because of the size of the object to be folded. Design a device that would help someone fold sheets and blankets.

Discuss your design process. How did you decide what problems needed to be addressed? How did you go about addressing them? Did you learn anything from the process?

What can you take from this experience that you could apply to learning in your classroom? How might you incorporate a design activity into an upcoming lesson or unit that you have planned?


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