WEEK 7: Lets learn how to implement!
I think these readings are what I have been waiting for since this class started. The first reading by Sampson and Gleim, was pretty much just an outline for how to set up an inquiry based assignment. There were 8 steps all of which I have seen teachers use time and time again. I understand the reasoning for each step, however, I think following this procedure over and over again is defeating the intended purpose. Students become bored and methodical when they are given the same task over and over again. I wish there were many different ways to get kids thinking and investigating a problem that don’t follow this step by step layout. I know that I will use it in the classroom, I just hope I don’t use it as a crutch, like many teachers may do. How I use this tool is up to me and I think recognizing the flaws will allow me to adapt this model to better suit my students.
I really enjoyed the second reading by Reiser, Berland, and Kenyon. It was awesome and gave several examples of how to implement different teaching practices. Eight different practices were introduced and I am very interested in learning more about them. These concepts also seemed to relate to the interviews we gave last week when we were trying to pull information out of the students. I really didn’t get why we were interviewing students, but now I see that it was to better understand how students think and how to recognize when a student is on the right track. The interview put us in a one on one situation that allowed us to interact with students but also allowed us the ability to gauge a student’s understanding of a topic. I think I gained the most from seeing two students with completely different learning styles. My favorite part of this reading was in the conclusion, “This requires focusing on reasons for ideas, rather than only on the accuracy of a particular idea (Sutherland et al. 2006). It requires creating a climate that is safe for students to be wrong as they work toward more complete explanations.” This is so critical. I want a classroom that provokes thought where the students are completely comfortable to be wrong! I didn’t have any classes where I felt completely comfortable being wrong and I still struggle with this. It is so important for students to be in this environment and I love that this is the recommended way to build a classroom.