What can we learn about teaching and learning from these teachers?
Through the video Making Thinking Visible, we see Mark Church a sixth grade teacher in Amsterdam, use visible thinking in his classroom. The video starts with a topic they learned about the day before, early human beginnings and the origins of human society. He has his students create and write down a headline to summarize what the meaning of the search for human origins is all about. The students then start discussing in their groups how to summarize what they have learned into a small statement. Once they have decided on their headline and written it down, they share it aloud and tell why they chose that headline. Later on once they have completed the lesson they will go back and answer the same question, and then see how their answers changed over time. This is an example of visible thinking. The goal of visible thinking is to develop student thinkings patterns while expanding their understanding of a given topic. To do this visible thinking uses questions to get students talking and thinking about the possible answers, and documented answers to be able to go back and reflect to see how their understanding and thoughts have changed on a given subject.
After watching this short video I think visible thinking is a great way of learning. I really appreciate the fact that it allows students to work in groups and discuss their ideas. To me, being able to work with other people is a very important lesson to learn as a child. I also like that visible learning allows for students to look back and reflect upon their learning. I was never encouraged to see my progress during my education and I think could be very beneficial for my students to be able to see their progress. This is definitely a method of teaching that I could use in my classroom for subjects such as math, history, and much more.
Paul Andersen, a science teacher in Montana, is incredibly smart and has great ideas to incorporate in his Blended Learning teaching style. He has been teaching science for nineteen years and just recently began teaching science online. His main idea is Blended Learning in the classroom. Blended Learning consists of online, classroom and mobile tools that incorporate engaging, exploring, explaining, expanding and evaluating (the five E's).
Andersen has six steps to his students' learning process. The first is the question. This starts the tone and is the "hook" of what they are learning. I realized that it is important for the question to be something interesting to the students so they are willing and encouraged to learn. The next step is investigation/inquiry. This is where the students should experiment and try various things with the proposed idea. Next is the video. This is more for the teacher. Andersen makes podcasts giving his students detailed instructions so he doesn't waste any class time. Instead, he has this time to review with his students. The fourth step is elaborating. This is where the students can read on the subject, or do some research. Also, this is where graphs and tables come in to play. Review comes next. Andersen meets individually with his students to evaluate them and see how well they know the material. He says in his video that if a student really knows material, then they should be able to explain it. He sits with his students and asks them questions. This is where he can tell if they know the material or not. Lastly is the summary quiz. If he doesn't feel like the students know the information, they will start over wit this learning process. If they do know the information, he will give them a timed, paper/pencil test.
I learned quite a few things from Paul Andersen. First of all, I was very impressed with his blog and the way he presented himself in his video. He sounds very intelligent, put together and like he really cares about his students. I have already learned from EDM310 that my classroom doesn't have to be the same, boring classroom atmosphere I had in grade school, but Andersen really reinforces this. He gave great examples in his step-by-step learning process on ways to ask questions, use time management and make sure your students really understand what they have been learning. I am excited to incorporate things such as group activities, podcasts and student-centered learning in my classroom!
Back To The Future
Back to the Future is a video by Brian Corsby who is a teacher at Agnes Risley Elementary school. Mr. Corsby teaches fourth graders who are second language learners. The first day of class he gives his 24 students a quiz. One question asked the students what city they lived in. Only 9 got the answer correct. Another question the quiz asked the students what country they live in. Only 3 got the answer correct. This video goes on to show the many projects and style of teaching Mr. Corsby uses in his class. My favorite project they did was sending a high altitude balloon up into the atmosphere with a camera. When the photos and video came back, the students wrote stories from the point of view of the balloon and took their story and the photos taken from the balloon to make an illustrated book. Mr. Corsby does not have tests in his class. Students post videos of themselves doing projects to their blog. Each student not only has a blog but also a laptop computer to use in class. Students also use their blog to post about what they learned and did in class that day. Mr. Crorsby used technology to help fourth grade students get excited about learning and connect with students all around the world. I thought this video was amazing and Mr. Corsby showed more passion for teaching and learning than any teacher I have ever seen. Keeping students engaged in learning and excited about going to school is the most important thing any teacher can do because if a student is excited about learning than the sky is the limit.