Monday, February 14, 2011

Characteristics 4 and 7 of the Novice Teacher

4.The novice teacher should be a facilitator of learning for all students.

This characteristic pinpoints the importance of teaching in a way that is tailored to all learners. Every classroom is full of diverse learners with differing capabilities, previous educational experiences, and cultural backgrounds. It is imperative for the novice teacher to know his or her students in order to best meet their needs as learners.

In Sped360, I created a Classroom Strategy Toolkit that lists a set of 10 strategies for differentiating instruction. Within this toolkit, I listed the following strategies: jigsaw,think-pair-share, stations, activity choice boards, flexible grouping, R.A.F.T., among others. Next to each strategy and its description, I listed a rationale for its use, guidelines, and classroom examples for how I would or have used these strategies in a science classroom.

For example, under activity choice boards I wrote:
Description - Students use a bulletin board or sign-up sheet to sign up for the activity they wish to complete. This allows students to have some control over what type of activity they can complete.

Rationale - If the students are choosing the activity that most interests them then they are more likely to be actively engaged in the assignment and are motivated to complete the task.

Guidelines -
1. The teacher posts a list of activities for the students to complete. The students must complete one or more of the assignments based on the teacher’s guidelines.
2. Students choose the necessary number of activities that they would like to complete. They can do this by placing a post-it note with their name one it under a category.
3. The students complete the assignments of their choosing.

Examples -
1.Ecology: biomes
Students are given a choice as to how they would like learn about the different biomes found on earth. For example, they could complete a web quest, do a research paper,create a documentary, or give a presentation on the biome of their choice.

2.Physics: potential and kinetic energy
Students can choose how they would like to learn about the difference and relationship between potential and kinetic energy. For example, they could choose between researching and creating a Venn diagram, conducting a student-designed experiment, or by creating a model that represents kinetic and potential energy.

This toolkit demonstrates the "learning for all" characteristic by showing how differentiated instruction can be used through these 10 strategies and their real, applicable examples.

7. The novice teacher should effectively integrate content and pedagogy.

This characteristic demonstrates the importance of knowing both content and pedagogy in order to teach a particular content well. Knowing the content is not enough. You must know the content and know how to best teach that content, which in my case is science.

I planned and taught a roller coaster physics lesson to my 8th graders. In this lesson, I had students work in mixed-ability groups (unless they requested to work alone) and they had to build, present, and explain how their roller coasters related to Newton's laws of motion and the relationship between kinetic and potential energy. For this project I focused on three things: collaboration, critical thinking skills, and presentation, which are essential to my students in the real world. Students had to collaborate with others to design their roller coaster. They had to think critically to incorporate physics into their design. They also had to effectively communicate how their roller coasters related to Newtons laws and the transformation of energy from potential to kinetic during their presentation.

This project really had my students engaged. My students were learning the content by creating something of their own. They were using what they knew about physics to design a structure that was interesting and relevant to them. This lesson applies to characteristic number 7, because I knew the content well enough to be able to design an activity that would be challenging, yet comprehensible and engaging for my students.

1 comment:

  1. I think that understanding all your students learning styles in important. I also invcluded my SPED toolkit because i think it showa how diverse we are as teachers. I heard about your roller coaster lesson in small group and it sounded reall interesting. i think i owuld have done better in science in highschool if i had fun lessons like that.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.