Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pause: Where I reflect on what I Can Learn

Many EngageNY lesson begins with an opening where you are engaging the students. I have tended to breeze over those because the content within them is so boring. They're rehashes of the same point that is being driven into students' heads over and over again. However, there are some good ideas.

The one I'd like to discuss are the different ways kids can sharing their answers with each other. When I was in grad school, I had a teacher who was very much into this. She'd make us get in a group and each group would discuss a different topic, then we'd all get up and explain what we'd discussed with people. That was a quick and dirty way to bring information to an entire class.

The problem was that I always thought those processes were kind of stupid. I did not learn like that, and I kind of resented getting information as a sound bite instead of the deep learning from a teacher who knew more than me. Unfortunately, what's true for me may not be so for my students.

The EngageNY curriculum has lots of these types of processes: pairing kids up back-to-back, moving around the classroom looking for partners. Not that these activities make up for a dreadful curriculum, but they are worth a try.

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