Final Thoughts

 

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” -Albert Einstein 

After taking this course throughout the semester and being able to research more on the learning styles of students, I have concluded that their is no right or wrong way to teach students. It is simply a case by case process, and the overriding goal is that most teachers are the ones that have to truly immerse themselves in their student’s culture and learning styles in order to truly capture their attention.

Many teachers can get in a routine of their daily lives and teach a course or subject so often that they become numb to new ideas and do not care to learn more about their students. At the end of the day, the responsibility of the teacher and what they choose to do with it will be with student for the rest of their lives. Especially in the younger ages of teaching, the building blocks of the way learn and retain information are in the hands of the teachers. It is vital that they adjust their classrooms based on the student’s needs to give them the best experience and train their minds to receive information and learn the best way they can.

After reading an article on Education World, the environment in which students are learning is vital to their success. The room should be filled with an aura that is promoting thinking and questioning. Students should feel as though learning is welcome. The piece of learning that is sometimes skipped over is that it is sometimes difficult to learn. When one is first learning a new skill or subject, they may fail many times before they succeed. They should be curious and engaged, and feel as though it is a safe environment to ask questions.

The second piece to a stimulating classroom is the material in itself. Teachers should make the activities that they have in their classrooms entertaining so that students want to learn and understand. If students are not engaged and interested in what they are learning, they will not stay focused. Now this is difficult because not all necessary curriculum is going to interest every student. However, the activities in which teachers provide for their students is something that can make the material interesting. Competition is another easy way to keep students engaged. They are able to compete with other classmates for incentives in order to promote learning and engagement.

Overall, each classroom and teaching style is different. Every student may learn differently than others and it can make it very difficult for teachers to reach every student. Having a good relationship with each individual student can make this easier. After reading several articles, I have concluded that the learning styles different students have affects the way they learn and retain information. If the teacher is able to get to know their students early in the semester and keep the classroom stimulating, the teacher will have more successful students. It is key that they do not get stuck in the day to day of their job and keep things fresh for students in order to set them up for success in their futures as students and professionals.

Thanks for reading!!

To learn more check this out!

http://www.educationworld.com/a_news/opinion-stimulating-classroom-environments-help-students-teachers-680446970

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Teaching vs. Learning

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.”

-Brad Henry 

This post will be talking about the difference between teaching vs. learning. It is easy for teachers to check the lesson plan for the day and tailor the lesson in order to check to box off the to-do list. However, are the students truly learning? Are the students absorbing the information and developing learning habits for their future? These are all questions that teachers should be asking and adjusting their lessons and classroom habits accordingly.

So far I have been able to share with you the different learning styles of students and the impact a teacher’s lesson plan has on their learning development. A student in grades K-5 are in crucial learning years. Everything that they take in will act as a building block for the rest of their academic careers. However, not only will it affect their academic careers it also affects their ability to absorb information and develop the right habits that will impact the way they learn in the future.

Students are so vulnerable at these phases in their lives. If they learn to be lazy early on, they will develop bad habits for when they are in upper level courses and even college. It is easy for students to be taught basic information and for the teacher to guide their lessons to make it simple for the students to learn. However, teaching and learning are two different things. Like I stated earlier a teacher can develop a lesson and teach their students, but in the beginning stages of their learning it is their responsibility to teach them how to absorb information.

Memorizing is not going to take them through their academic career. Eventually, they will hit a wall and have a rude awakening. There are 3 rules for teachers in order to tailor their lessons to benefit the students: assess early and often, let students get their feet wet, welcome student input for your content and assignments. When students feel as though they have a say in what they are learning, they are more likely to remember it and be passionate about it.

Teachers should ask their students what they know and what they don’t know quite often. It is the easiest way for them to get immediate feedback from the students and also help assess who is retaining information and who isn’t and how to solve it. They should also give students an opportunity to put what they’ve learned to action. Whether it is a field trip, real world activity, or game, students love to get up and “get their feet wet.” Also, teachers need to act on the feedback that they get from their students. They need to implement the feedback into their lesson plans and follow through.

Teachers are starting to update their lessons and get student’s feedback to improve the classroom learning experience. These are all great steps to develop great learning habits for students! If you’d like to read more check out the article below!

Thanks for reading!

Three Strategies for Creating Meaningful Learning Experiences

 

Learning Activity Guide: Facebook

FACEBOOK

Brief Description:

  • This commercial shows how students need a channel of communication that is easily accessible. Our commercial focuses on Facebook and the way it helps students stay on top of important class assignments and allows them a channel of communication that can be accessed on the go. A lot of miscommunication comes from people not remembering what was specifically said. Using Facebook though allows concrete records that people can refer back to. One thing we didn’t show in the commercial is how teachers can use Facebook to communicate with their students by making a class page. It acts almost like a bulletin board so students can keep up with their class schedule.

Learning Topic: 

  • Understanding how Facebook can help students collaborate outside of the classroom. It is a great way to get students communicating while being able to use one of the most sought after forms of social media. Social Media can get a bad wrap at times and using it in a positive way can help everyone benefit from it.

Targeted Learners: 

  • Students ages 13-22
  • This can be helpful for students who are in high school as well as students who are in college. Definitely a glamorous resource for each age group
  • mixes personal social media with group work to allow students to enjoy group project work and connect easier

Estimated Time: 

  • The time allotted for students to use this resource is completely up to them. Facebook is something some students spend hours of their personal time on Facebook and others spend less. By utilizing Facebook as a class resource, students can enjoy personal social media time along with getting group work completed.

Resources Required: 

  • Laptop, Group members, Project

Step-by-Step Instructions: 

  • First, sign up and create a Facebook page for yourself
  • Second, have a group project to work on
  • Three, create a Facebook chat and add your group members
  • Four, communicate as often as you need to in order to get your plans set

Our Commercial: 

 

MakerFaire Reflection

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

-Albert Einstein 

 

For my maker education project I was able to do two different things. First, I created a Snap Guide How to of how to make one of my favorite lunch sandwiches. Second, I was able to create a maker challenge for students in grades 4-8. I think that both of these projects were things that could easily be reciprocated in a classroom and help engage students in learning. Students love to engage in activities outside the traditional way of learning. Each of these projects have ways that they can be used in the classroom and it also provides students with what they want in a learning experience.

For the first project, I decided to use the app Snap guide to make a How to Make a Ham and Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Although this is a food item and not something that you create in a classroom, the idea of the app is something that could be extremely useful in the classroom. The way the app works is to allow you to make a how to tutorial of absolutely anything. It can either be a photo how to or a video how to whatever is easier for what you are wanting to do. I think this could be a fun weekly project for student to create whether it pertains to the lesson they are currently learning about in a class or if it is a how to guide for studying. It engages them in learning outside of the traditional classroom and allows for some creativity and fun in their learning.

The second project was a maker challenge for students that were in grades 4-8. This was a minute to win it challenge called “suck it up”. It is a fun game to play with anyone and is a good way to bond people together. I have played this with my team at team bonding retreats and it is a fast paced game that teaches you a lot about teamwork. Students have to divide up in teams and bring M&M’s across the room only using a straw. Getting them engaged and up out of their seats is extremely helpful especially in grades 4-8. Most of the students are in classes all day and are looking for anyway to get out of their seats and get moving. I would use this tool as  a way for them to wake up and get excited about learning. There are endless ways to make this game competitive and give students rewards for winning only to increase their incentive to play and put forth effort.

When thinking about the Universal Design for Learning, each of these activates are in line with what engages students. It specifies each area of the brain that we gather information, perform tasks in order to display what we have learned, and how learners can stay more engaged and motivated to learn. This maker education project is a way for students to stay engaged and motivated to learn. It allows them to have a hands on experience with an app or a game and provides a great opportunity for teachers to use each small moment as a teaching moment or connect it back to their lesson plan. As a student, I enjoy having a hands on learning environment. It is nice to be able to participate in new things the help me understand a topic better. There are so many apps that are being made in order for you to engage in fun videos, draw, or play games. A lot of them are created for learning.

All of this ties in to the idea of student voice. It allows students to share their values, opinions, beliefs, and perspectives of what they like to do and why. It gets away from the traditional style of learning and let the student feel a part of their own learning environment. Technology is a an amazing way for teachers to let students have a voice. They are able to tailor their lessons in order to add technology in the mix. Nowadays, technology is given a bad reputation as far taking away the attention of students and having them focus on the wrong things. However, if looked at differently, technology can be used to change the way students learn. It can help them learn faster and more efficiently. It gives them the freedom to learn and search things on their own. Overall, technology has sped up the learning process and allowed for us to have access to things that we never would have without it. Students can stay engaged and be creative with the way they retain information. It allows them to do research in order to teach a lesson themselves, and gets them engaged in a different way other than just sitting in a desk and raising their hand. Technology continues to shape our world and it is our duty to embrace it instead of blame it.

Teaching to Every Student

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How can teachers identify student’s learning styles and cater their lessons accordingly? 

Key words: Strategies, Styles, Unique, Learning, Teachers, Students

As many teachers know, not every student’s learning style is the same. Each student may absorb information in different ways than others. As a teacher, it is difficult to tailor a lesson completely on one student or even to the popular learning style. Instead of changing the style of the lesson, teachers are changing the way the model their classroom. University of San Diego learning wrote an article on how teachers can make sure they are reaching out to all of their students.

First, teachers should learn about each of their individual students. They should learn about what interests them and what keeps them entertained by engaging them in interactive activities. This way you can discover what they are comfortable with and what they do not care much about. Second, teachers must be open and understanding with the students so that they know everyone is there to learn. When students feel as though they are going to be judged or compared when trying to learn it can cause them to shy away from openly discussing their thoughts. Problem based learning where students have to join in groups to brainstorm and come up with solutions is a great way to get them comfortable expressing ideas and not as much importance on whether their answers are right or wrong.

Lastly, one teachers have seen what their students like most and what allows them to reach their full potential, they should tailor their future lessons accordingly. It is important that teachers be selfless and instead of teaching the way that suits them best, they are teaching in a way that is best for their students. It can be difficult for high school or middle school teachers who are teaching so many students throughout the day to not get in such a routine with their lesson. They may have to make quick changes during each period in order to keep each student engaged and maximize their potential for learning.

What I found most interesting was the different types of teaching environments in the article. There are two types of instruction: teacher centered and student centered. The teacher centered approach puts the teacher in charge and has them absorbing all the information. It requires the students to be passive learners that listen and take in all information. The student centered approach is a lot more interactive. It creates more equanimity between the teacher and the students. Although the teacher is still in charge, they act more as a facilitator and coach the students by guiding their thoughts.

No matter what learning style each student is, the student centered learning allows them to feel as though they are a piece of their own learning. It allows them to come to conclusions themselves which overall helps them truly learn something instead of just memorize. The teacher centered approach is starting to become a thing of the past and really hinders the student’s and their ability to learn.

Thanks for reading!!!!

Check out this article to learn more: https://onlinedegrees.sandiego.edu/teaching-to-every-students-unique-learning-style/

 

Understanding Student’s Learning Styles

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The topic I chose to research revolves around the idea that all students learn differently. It is crucial for the student to understand at an early age which learning style makes them the most successful, and it the teachers job to help them figure it out. Teachers have an amazing opportunity to guide young learners, and help them understand what is going to make them most successful.

One of the topics this article mentions is that there are 4 types of learners: Visual learners, Auditory learners, Reading/ Writing learners, and Kinesthetic learners otherwise known as VARK. Visual learners prefer the use of images or pictures to help guide their thought process, Auditory learners prefer talking through situations or learning via a lecture or presentation. Reading and Writing learners usually are avid note takers and learn from writing things down and rereading them where as kinesthetic learners prefer to be hands on and learn things by practicing the process of doing them or walking through it. As one can see, understanding that there are all these different types of styles can help a teacher tailor their approach.

This article provides great advice for teachers to identify what types of learners their students are. This article provides recommendations for teachers to potentially provide their students with. It is labeled SWOT: study without tears. It essentially groups the 4 different learning styles and provides tips to for studying and learning.

Visual Learners:

  • Utilize graphic organizers such as charts, graphs and diagrams.
  • Redraw your pages from memory.
  • Replace important words with symbols or initials.
  • Highlight important key terms in corresponding colors.

Auditory learners:

  • Record your summarized notes and listen to them on tape.
  • Talk it out. Have a discussion with others to expand upon your understanding of a topic.
  • Reread your notes and/or assignment out loud.
  • Explain your notes to your peers/fellow “aural” learners.

Reading/ Writing:

  • Write, write and rewrite your words and notes.
  • Reword main ideas and principles to gain a deeper understanding.
  • Organize diagrams, charts, and graphic organizers into statements.

Kinesthetic learners:

  • Use real life examples, applications and case studies in your summary to help with abstract concepts.
  • Redo lab experiments or projects.
  • Utilize pictures and photographs that illustrate your idea.

Overall this is a great article and the next will be focused on the types of learners potentially in more detail and touching more on how teachers can tailor their lessons to help their students. Stay Tuned!

View Article: https://teach.com/what/teachers-teach/learning-styles/

 

Learning, Teaching, and Technology

Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.  -Bill Gates 

The world of technology is moving faster than we can blink. Everyday there is a new tablet, new update, or new smart phone on the market. The next iPhone comes out the year after the last, robots are able to respond to our commands, and some forms of technology can even read our body language. The world is literally at our finger tips.

There are two views one can take on this subject, well three really. Technology is hurting today’s world, helping today’s world, or a mixture of both based on how we use it. Other than the anti-technologist, I think most would choose the third choice. Technology allows us to have access to things we could have only dreamed of having years and years ago. It opens doors for our society that would usually be a plane ride away to open. Instead, it is accessible with the click of a button or requested from Siri.

When thinking about technology in the classroom, there could be a lot of controversy. Some may think it distracts students from the task at hand, some may think it helps students learn faster, and others may be indifferent. I like the quote posted above because I think it points out simply what technology is. Like Bill Gates says, technology is just a tool.

Technology is an extremely useful tool, but without having an instructor or guidance/restrictions about what is appropriate in the classroom it can be a distraction. Technology is simply a medium in order to further probe our thinking and make our ideas come to life faster. The problem is that sometimes it replaces our own creative thinking. It is so easy to google a concept and return millions of ideas- all of which are not your own.

I believe that having a good balance between the idea of using technology to allow deeper thinking, but also give students time to brainstorm their own ideas is vital to student’s success. It is also vital to the development and creativity of young student’s minds. It allows them to develop good habits revolving around technology and not deem it good or bad. It is ambiguous depending on how it is used. Referring back to the quote, technology is simply a tool, and a helpful one at that.