This standard is important to education because it allows teachers to assess their students understanding of content and having them explain the process they are using. When students are able to verbalize their thinking, the learning sets in and will have a greater chance of retention. The evidence I have included for this post is a section from my edTPA lesson sequence where I am Informally assessing their understanding of perimeter and area, and their ability to break a large rectangle into two smaller rectangles and compare their areas. (For example 6 x 3 rectangle can be as two rectangles added together (3×3) + (3×3).) I designed my questions for students to think about the strategy they were using such as “Why did you build the rectangle this way? How did you determine the side lengths of the rectangles? What patterns do you notice?” Thinking of these questions in advance helped me be better prepared when monitoring for student understanding.
This evidence demonstrates emerging competence because I am including the questioning technique in my planning and instruction. Providing “wait time” can be difficult for me as I am quick to help students understand instead of letting them process on their own. Open ended questions should be high level thinking so expecting a quick response takes away from their processing. Questioning and discussions add engagement and participation for students during lessons and are a great strategy for teachers to use for assessment.
Changes or next steps would be to provide more “wait time” when conferencing with individual students or when posing questions to the whole class. It is important to remember sometimes students need a minute or two to really engage with a high-level question and be given the patience to process and answer when they have a more concrete idea of their response.
The Peer Review Assignment for EDSP 6644 Educating Exceptional Students helped me become a better educator because it allowed me to research what current educators are working on to improve special education services. I was able to look at a variety of sources, which will be helpful whenever I have a question, or need to research a topic that comes up during my actual teaching in the future. My topic was co-teaching, which includes important aspects of teacher collaboration. It was great to see what this model looks like in reality and the benefits and challenges it can bring. This will help better prepare me when I am involved in similar teaching approaches.
Co-teaching is an effective model but one that requires patience and flexibility. It is important to interact with faculty throughout the school to get different perspectives and opinions that are different from your own. Co-teaching is not a teaching method where teachers should operate independently from one another. Having time to debrief, reflect, and plan is crucial for a successful and positive system. Learning from one another’s methods helps faculty grow as educators and provide best supports for students that need it.
The articles I researched also discussed the importance of professional development and training when adopting the co-teaching model. In order for this model to be effective, teachers need opportunities to learn methods and skills that have positive effects when collaborating. The program should be one that is meaningful and worth a teacher’s time. Educators have many responsibilities and need to be efficient with their duties throughout the day, including a new approach such as co teaching.
The peer review assignment allowed me to analyze and synthesize documents about a topic to learn more about different approaches to special education. I now have a broader view of special education and particular teaching strategies. I will take these concepts with me as I work in the schools and develop different approaches for helping students succeed.
Triggering Question: As an elementary teacher, how can I model life long learning by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources?
In order for teachers to continuously improve their professional practice with the use of digital tools and resources, teachers must understand what is available to them and opportunities for collaboration with colleagues. There are many resources that benefit teacher understanding of the changing field of technology. The US Department of Education released their Technology Plan for schools to adopt allowing teachers access to multiple learning communities. They called this “connected teaching” which uses technology to create digital online communities for effective results. Teachers can form communities with students, fellow teachers, administrators, or education specialists to collectively collaborate on educational issues. Connected teaching provides new ways of interaction that improves professional practice through new activities such as online posting, discussions, and animations for instruction and quizzing. Using new digital tools with students models life-long learning by the teacher as they are experimenting with new tools to increase effectiveness of their instruction.
A member in my learning community who is focusing on physical and health education posted a link to a site that has up to date information on health and fitness strategies in school. It informs educators of upcoming opportunities for in person professional development. This is an example of a site that allows teachers to stay current with changes happening to programs such as health and fitness. It lets teachers make effective use of emerging digital resources and model for students how to stay current on professional issues.
US Department of Education. (2010). Transforming American Education Learning Powered by Technology. Washington D.C. (38-50)
Shape America: Soceity of Health and Physical Educators. (2016) Retrieved on March
13, 2016, from http://www.shapeamerica.org/
One of the learning families I want to summarize from this course is the process of inductive teaching. Constructing ideas and concepts from the students themselves provides meaning and engagement. This method of teaching can be scary to some teachers as there is not a direct goal or path when working with students. Generating ideas from the students is a great way to get their minds thinking and brainstorming. The next step is focusing on one topic to promote deep thinking and comprehension. “One is focusing the investigation, helping the students concentrate on a domain (an area of inquiry) they can master, without constricting them so much that they can’t use their full abilities to generate ideas.” ( Calhoun, Joyce, & Weil, 2015, p 42) Giving students the freedom to choose their own domains allows them to collectively pull together a meaningful topic where they can be most successful.
Another social learning method is role playing. Students are able to develop social skills, investigate social issues, and develop empathy when working with one another. By putting themselves in different simulated roles, they can discover their own values and how best to work with others. “It explores how values drive behavior and raises student consciousness about the role of values in their lives.” (Calhoun, Joyce, & Weil, 2015, p 258) Students can begin to figure out how to interact cooperatively with others and respectfully disagree when conflict arises. Humans are inherently social and giving students the time and space to develop these skills with provide them with long term benefits.
Calhoun, E., Weil, M., & Joyce, B. (2015). Models of Teaching. (9th ed.) Boston: Pearson.
Teachers can foster student self-esteem by creating and maintaining positive, trusting relationships with students. According to Rogers (n.d.), teacher empathy, respect, and the frequency with which the teacher gave praise, accepted student ideas, and asked for thinking are methods for students to feel successful at school. Teachers promote the student’s self-concept (general sense of personal value) as well as their self-efficacy (personal beliefs about one’s ability to be a successful learner), when treating their students with respect and valuing their voice in the classroom. When we are positive in our teaching practice, we will receive positive student behaviors. Having strong interpersonal skills benefits all areas of teacher responsibility.
Carl Rogers emphasizing the importance of these interactions with students and the benefits that come along with them. In regards to under-achieving students, teacher empathy dramatically increases their ability to succeed in their work. “The level of person-to-person conditions the teacher offers to under-achieving students more frequently produced significant main effects on school attendance, gain in reading and math achievement, and change in I.Q. scores and self-concept . . .” (Rogers, n.d.). These youth in our classes at times can be difficult to reach and many approaches often do not work. Through Rogers’ research, positive relationships play a huge role with these students and can greatly impact their self-concept in regards to being a learner. As teachers, the more respect, acceptance, and student involvement we can provide, the more successful and effective our students will become.
Rogers, C. (n.d.). Teacher effects research on student self concept. Handout from EDU 6526, Seattle Pacific University, Feb 29, 2016.
I chose to tell a personal narrative of my experience as a chaperone for a high school national youth gathering where I learned a lot about what it means to be a servant. Those interested in community service, youth leaders, volunteers, high school students, and anyone else who has a caring heart and passion for working in the community would be interested in viewing it. This could be used in a formal educational setting when teaching about work in the community, how people affect one another in community, or teaching about the diversity we have in our large cities in the country. I demonstrated competency on ISTE NETS Standard 1 for Teachers by modeling creative and innovative thinking, engaging students in exploring real world issues, and by promoting the use of a digital tool to tell an important story.
The process of digital storytelling began slowly. I came up with the content pretty easily because this event took place just last summer. The bulk of the work came from searching for a program that could meet the requirements of the assignment. At first I tried Microsoft Sway, uploading photos into the order that worked for my story. Unfortunately after doing this I could not find a way to add narration, music, or record it, so I had to move to Windows Live Movie Maker and start again. It took me a lot longer than I anticipated mostly because I was unfamiliar with the software. Most of the time I was experimenting around and searching for the right tools. Having experience or training with the program definitely would have helped complete the assignment.
The most significant things I learned while completing this project was having an open ended, student choice topic allowed me to have full creativity of the assignment. I could choose a topic that was important to my life and creatively present it in a format of my choice. Having so many options allows a student to truly create a project that they are passionate about and that is meaningful to their lives. Having some practice ahead of time with Windows Live Movie Maker would have been helpful, but experimenting with something new is a great learning method as well. Creating this digital story was a great experience to look back at my trip to Detroit and a project I can come back to when reflecting about my service in the Motor City.