25 Instructional Improvements

  1. Add Energy/Movement
  2. Display Preparation (e.g. making worksheet/slideshow, guided notes, or activity)
  3. Clear & Deliberate Transitions
  4. Crisp Start or Planned Ending
  5. Confidence, Comfort, or Teacher Voice (e.g. louder, not looking nervous)
  6. Simplicity/Clarity
  7. Clear Directions (verbally issued & visually displayed)
  8. Add Illustrations to Clarify Complex/Boring Material
  9. Prepared Discussion Q’s
  10. Engage in Management/Use Proximity
  11. Professional Attire
  12. Balance Teacher/Student Talk Time
  13. Add More Wait Time
  14. Make Content Applicable
  15. Improve Quality of Questions
  16. Time Management – Linger when Needed, Don’t Tread Water
  17. Encourage Student Involvement
  18. Get rid of Filler Words; “Like”, “Um”, “You know”, & etc.
  19. CFU – Check for Understanding
  20. Getting to/Involving Assessment
  21. Scaffolding – Clearly Frame Ideas, Content, &/or Lesson
  22. “Connective Tissue” Between Segments of the Lesson
  23. Differentiation
  24. Clear Objectives (in execution, getting to the point – not wandering)
  25. Good Use of Media (Short, explained, interacted with)
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Differentiated Instruction

Differentiation is not so much the “stuff” as the “how.” If the “stuff” is ill conceived, the “how” is doomed.

  • Carol Ann Tomlinson

While we’ve dabbled into what differentiated instruction is (and we will spend more time on it in the future), let’s consider Tomlinson’s Insights, in this readable 7-page article.

By class time Wednesday, read Differentiated Instruction and post a response to the following:

1. Spend 1 paragraph to describe each of the following classrooms:
a) Mr. Appleton’s (who presents factual stuff) approach to teaching,
b) Mrs. Baker’s (whose class does different stuff) approach to teaching,
-and-
c) Ms. Cassell’s (alternative approach) to teaching.

2. Use the text to explain (in at least 1-2 paragraphs) your takeaway on what differentiated instruction isn’t (that is, what it is commonly misunderstood to be), and –most importantly– what differentiated instruction authentically is.

Teaching (Social Respons) w Humanities

radiohead
Thom Yorke of Radiohead

The humanities can be an effective point of entry to teach potentially difficult topics like social responsibility in the midst of formal curriculum. For instance, Radiohead’s “All I Need” (lyrics here) could be used in economics courses to navigate the fair v. free trade debate and considerations related to globalization

Exemplar Q’s for simultaneously teaching both with and about digital media:

  1. How is color being used to convey meaning?
  2. How is life different for each child?
  3. How are the shoes positioned to tell a story and make a point?

Moral, Believing Animals

smithQ’s: What is morality? Is morality real? Is there a basis for morality? How do we make sense of & justify moral & ethical claims & assessments?

Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture by Christian Smith, PhD. Abstract:

What kind of animals are human beings? And how do our visions of the human shape our theories of social action and institutions? This book offers answers to these and other fundamental questions in sociological, cultural, and religious theories. The research for this book is based on the assumption (unfashionable in certain circles) that human beings have an identifiable and peculiar set of capacities and proclivities that distinguishes them significantly from other animals on this planet. It argues that all people are at bottom believers, whose lives, actions, and institutions are constituted, motivated, and governed by narrative traditions and moral orders on which they inescapably depend. Despite the vast differences in humanity between cultures and across history, no matter how differently people narrate their lives and histories, there remains an underlying structure of human personhood that helps to order human culture, history, and narration. Drawing on recent insights in moral philosophy, epistemology, and narrative studies, the book argues that humans are animals who have an inescapable moral and spiritual dimension. They cannot avoid a fundamental moral orientation in life and this, the book says, has profound consequences for how sociology must study human beings. Continue reading “Moral, Believing Animals”

Middle East Geography Re: Teach

Feel free to use the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK.

By next Thursday, create a few slides to profile your country when you present it to the class… Email it to Justin & Peter. Also, post your country presentation on your site (either the exact slideshow, or an adaptation, or link to a Prezi or Google Doc) by Thursday. Make sure your brief presentation includes:

  • The country’s name: + capital & geographic placement + a visual political map
  • Info on – Gov’t/Economy
  • Info on – Physical Geography (Shape…)
  • Info on – People/Society
  • Info on – Relevant Current Event(s)

Teaching the Holocaust (& Night)

concentration-campsBy the start of next Thursday’s class (2/9), READ both Schweber’s Holocaust Fatigue: Teaching it Today and this NY Times article, The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking. Also, if you can make the time, you should check out the US Holocaust Museum as well.

DO THIS: See what group you’re in (click on “Continue reading” below) and respond to the corresponding three prompts in a few sentences on your page by class time on Thursday (2/9). The following readings and reflection will set us up nicely to transition into Night, by Eli Wiesel …which we’ll begin to read next week.

Continue reading “Teaching the Holocaust (& Night)”