Sunday, April 7, 2013

C4T #3

For the Love of Teaching

A blog constructed by Diane Dahl, For the Love of Teaching, provides many helpful posts that range from various techniques. Diane's methods use "brain-based" strategies and incorporation of technology. In the first post of Diane's blog that I read, she was explaining a situation in which she observed a few students making decisions through the classic Rock, Paper, Scissors method. After believing that they were solving the problem in what appeared to be a sensible manner, she turned her attention back to her original tasks. Moments later one of the students in the group came to her upset that he was winning fair and square, but another student kept trying to turn the odds in her favor.

She went on to impose a solution to these problems in order to ensure students were engaging themselves in their work in an effective way. She explains how to create stations and duties for the children in each group. In one of her methods, she has each student in the group carry out a specific role, whether it be the problem solver or the answer checker, and then swap places once they complete an assignment and understand the answer they received. She introduced one final method to incorporate technology into the lesson, QR codes. A QR code is similar to a bar code that can be read with an app on an iPad, tablet, or smartphone.

I explained to her that I often fell into many categories when describing students. I also mentioned how often it is that children are curious and like to play with the objects belonging to their parents. The introduction of these QR codes is quite genius because they allow children to explore the very items that fancy their interest at home. The only difference here lies in that they are tinkering with technology in an educational setting.

When I revisited Diane's blog, I decided to delve further into her blog and see what other treasures I could find. Sure enough I didn't have to look very far. In a post that was made prior to my first reading, she was discussing a Reading Thinking Stem Guide, since a similar method for math was successful. Unsure of what the actual math version had been, I decided to go back and read The Math Thinking Stem to get a better idea. Basically, these stem rubrics help students to approach problems and break them down in a logical manner in order to understand how to solve them.

I explained to Diane that this was fascinating because I have always had trouble with math whenever it came to critical thinking skills. I never quite grasped the concept of this important skill, and now that I am in college, it is still a problem. I told her that this could be helpful in preventing students from gaining the problems I have had with critical thinking. This skill is vital, especially now that I see more collegiate educators basing their examinations off of the application of taking more than one concept and finding the link between them. Something that I certainly wish I could figure out! This blog has been yet another interesting read. All of the posts that I have read from her have including links to obtain the materials for her methods. I will be tucking this one away for later use!

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