15 August 2010

Quotes and Notes from Forget

No, that's not pronounced "four-git". It's pronounced "Four-Zhay". If you didn't know that, I doubt you'll ever "forget" it again! Ha. That's an educational joke. Mark Forget is a well-known educational researcher. He wrote a book called "MAX Teaching with Reading and Writing" which is a textbook for my class, Reading Comprehension. I'm required to do two entries of what are called "Quotes and Notes" for each chapter of my reading. In typical fashion, I've decided to do my stuff here. I have no idea where the "notes and quotes" format comes from but I intend to reproduce it here, if possible. So here's my first attempt:

Direct Quotes from the Text

My notes, thoughts, reflections, and questions for further study.

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being."I love quotes by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe! I use his quotes in my classroom on my before class PowerPoint often. This perfectly fits my philosophy of teaching. Do not lower your expectations because of the level of the students. Set your expectations at the point you want your students to be. In fact, I had a personal example of this with one of my advisory students who was in my Physics class two years ago. I distinctly remember her saying, "This is too much! Why do you expect so much out of us! This isn't a college class. You expect too much and we just can't do all of this!" I explained (probably not in so rational of a voice as I had wished) that I set expectations high of all of my students. I said, "If I set the bar way down here, everyone achieves the goal. But, if I set the bar way up here, not as many reach the goal, but everyone achieves more!" I'm not sure she got it that day, but after she had time to process she did. I know that because she came and talked to me later and said "we sure had some rough times but I remember doing more because you expected so much." She went on to add, "I didn't really think I'd be successful in your class, but I did and I really think its because you set the expectation so high." Goethe's quote really hits home because of this specific situation.
"A second reason is that many who enter the teaching profession may take literacy skills for granted, not being aware of how they themselves acutally acquired the abilities to read, write, speak, listen, and think critically."I'm not really sure where I fall on this category. I mean I don't know if I take (took) this for granted or not. In theory, I should not have, due to the intimate relationship I have with an English Teacher. However, in reality, I don't think I ever really thought the process of "learning to be literate" before I started teaching and began having conversations with said English Teacher about specifically using reading in my classroom. I knew teaching reading and writing across the curriculum was the right thing to do, but putting that stuff into practice was another animal completely. I've learned (in no small part due to this class, already) some really good strategies for engaging students in text and writing. I think I do a reasonably good job of having students write, but I'm still learning a lot on how to implement good literacy strategies in my classroom. Critical thinking? Oh yeah, this is one of my pet projects. I love working on critical thinking skills. Most students think this means "thinking outside the box". They've got a lot to learn about thinking critically! Fortunately, my English Teacher wife has taught a class which was centered on critical thinking and she is more than happy to share activities which guide students through the critical thinking process.
"All effective teachers use some form of the three steps that comprise MAX. At the beginning of class, most teachers use some form of "anticipatory set" to get students thinkings about the subject matter."I really struggle with this. I'm not sure I always do this. I have worked towards doing this, but according to my peers, I've been identified as an effective teacher. Does this mean I can be effective without doing this? Or does this mean I'm doing anticipatory sets without realizing it? I'm not sure. I haven't specifically written this down anywhere in any plan book so honestly I'm not sure if I am doing this or not. That said, I am definitely going to be much more cognizant of using anticipatory sets so that hopefully I can be even more effective! Other than asking students what they know, I'm not sure exactly what other kinds of A.S. I can do. I'm certainly going to have to do some serious contemplation on what I can do to make this happen in class.
"Three essential steps must be incorporated for real cooperative learning to occur:

  • Individual writing on the part of each student before entering group discussion

  • Small group discussion in an effort to come to consenssus as to what the text means

  • Large group, whole class discussion, with the teacher acting as mediator/arbitrator"

While my thoughts may be completely off-base, all I can think about here is my second period class this year. I am going to have both AP students (who have had my Physics 1 class already) and Pre-AP students (who are just now taking Physics 1). I think about my AP students acting as coaches for my Pre-AP class. I think of them as teachers who are going to learn so much more because they are going to be teaching for me! I'll simply act as a mediator. Definitely not content delivery on my part! I'll be sitting back and making sure students teach correctly while doing continual formative assessment on all students to make sure they are grasping the concepts at the level at which they should. Physics 2 students should certainly be at a much deeper level than the Physics 1 students, but they should also be gaining some understanding of the basic concepts of Physics. Does anyone think this is a good idea? A bad idea? I'm thinking the 1st 9 weeks is a good time to give this a trial run. In fact, I might even let them look at the P.A.S.S. and see what their pacing should be. Problem-solving exercises with AP student leaders. I like it. What do you guys think?

No comments:

Post a Comment