Friday, August 31, 2012

Model Redesign: Week 1. Olivia Shouse

This model represents my theory of how we learn.  I believe that we as humans learn best when someone tells us the information and then we can implement what they have taught us through activities. The activities solidify what was being taught because it allows the students to use their new knowledge, and it also allows the teacher to see how well the students took in the information. Learning works best when multiple senses are engaged, so the activities help in that way.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Redesign of Learning Model

Big Idea: Learning means making connections to other experiences or previous knowledge. Students will learn best from a teacher who has gotten to know his/her students backgrounds because the teacher would know what past experiences or knowledge the students are basing everything he/she teaches from. The teacher can better communicate with students when the teacher knows where the student is building from.

Big Idea:  Learning grows when kids have fun. What they have learned will stick in their head better when they associate it with something they have interest in.

Activity: A teacher takes her students outside to teach because she knows her small children like to play outside. They can then associate learning with the fun times they have playing outdoors.

         I chose to keep my diagram and activity the same. I felt like they matched up with the readings. I did, however,  add another big idea that fit in with my diagram. I added that "learning means making connections to other experiences or previous knowledge. Students will learn best from a teacher who has gotten to know his/her students backgrounds because the teacher would know what past experiences or knowledge the students are basing everything he/she teaches from. The teacher can better communicate with students when the teacher knows where the student is building from."
        I feel that my previous diagram and activity, in addition to the one new big idea, went along with the readings because they draw parallels from the "Theories for...Educators" chapter. This chapter explains that learning is a process of active construction, a social and individual experience, and learning differences are resources not obstacles. My diagram and activity go along with the idea that learning is a process of active construction because the children are building off of their knowledge of how to have fun and play outside. It is safe to say that most children like to play games and have fun. Children all come from different backgrounds and so often their interpretations of what you teach vary because of this. However, having fun is a background knowledge all children share in common and a good common ground to teach from. My diagram and activity relate to learning being a social phenomena because fun activities involve social behavior and communication. Also, this means that learning happens when we are part of a community and apply it to real world situations. Children are going to play outside of class, so when you connect the learning to the types of games they enjoy, they can use what they have learned in class in their own lives, making it more useful and easier to understand. Finally, my diagram and activity relate to learning differences as resources because playing games with your kids gives you a better understanding of who they are. I feel that kids are more likely to be themselves when they feel comfortable and you can learn more about their various backgrounds. It is necessary to learn about their different backgrounds so you can better communicate with them and understand what's going on in their heads. It is important to remember that we as teachers have a lot to learn from our students.

Updated Model

My first model demonstrated that children learn best by the three following activities: reading, watching and listening.  Although these three activities contribute greatly to learning, there is so much more that can help students learn better. Certain visual exercises and activities such as repetition and memorization can trigger and activate areas in the brain. Watching videos and activities on various electronics can increase their visual perception and help to activate key areas in the brain. Keeping students focused can also build up their attention span and will allow them to keep their focus for longer amounts of time. Students at first have a hard time focusing but with discipline and interest to keep them focused, their attention span can increase greatly.  Something else that helps students learn better is by being social.  Interacting with other students as well as the teacher helps students become more comfortable and relaxed, creating an ease that will help them learn better.

My original activity was an online learning game. I still agree with my first model, although I want to be a little more clear on what it really would be.  My online learning activity would be a game that would allow students to work together on the computer.  The activity would require students to stay on task and would deliver different directions on what to do.  The activity would include visual questions as well as problems that would require memorization.  Students would repeat these activities often, which would allow them to learn those certain lessons more effectively.

Robin's model altered from reading week 2

I read both readings thinking they were both required for this assignment. Upon reading the "Theories for...Educators" chapter, I began to think that this assignment (although I understand why it is helpful in building our theories and developing our identities as teachers) is impossible to perfect. It clearly said "We need multiple metaphors for learning and throwing one in favor of another is dangerous" Moreover, I was patting myself on the back for including modern ideology in my original model but was very happy to finally have some examples and data knowledge behind my ideas. For example I previously acknowledged  differences among students as "resources" and knew that people learn first through example before participation. However, as the brain research module pointed out, there needs to be repetition and practice in order to go from just information to genuine skill. To clarify, I do believe there has to been a skeletal structure for "what students should learn" since critical thinking and problem solving even in it's natural context, "the real world problems", assumes a genuine understanding and even mastering of basic knowledge. Jerome Bruner's spiral effect still holds a loose truth even in today's more personal and exploratory theories of practice. I still believe teachers should try to know and appeal to her all student's learning styles but at this point I'd like to move beyond that kind of basic task. With all this acknowledged, I'd like to make my model more specific, inclusive, and alter it slightly.
Observation and Introduction The boy watches and listens to his elder fish.

The student observes members of a community before becoming a member of the community.

The boy wonders about fish.
The student uses what he already knows to weed out what isn't known. Creates questions for exploration. It is the teacher's job to make subjects relative to students.
Example: Who here has ever been fishing? Caught a fish?

Exploration and Practice: The boy fishes.
The student takes his learning into his own hands. Children are not always naturally active participants in their own learning. It is the teacher's job to inspire, tap their interests, get them involved and actively participating so they can get past any anxieties and enjoy learning.

 Teacher gives guidance without dictating or hindering possible perception differences. Every child has a uniqueness that is a resource to the classroom community.

Reflection Analysis and Furthering learning
The student reflects on what he learned during exploration and practice; making connections and seeing the broader picture. The teacher should collaborate each unique experience to make the most out of the common experience. Teacher uses a questioning method to both facilitate discussion and open up doors for future learning. Student should have something to show for his learning be a new skill, a poster, presentation, paper, project. This gives them something visual to sum up their specific learning experience and also something tangible to be proud of their achievement. Self pride is the best positive reinforcement and motivates them to learn more.

Week One Introduction with Diagram and Reflection

Hi! I’m Madeline Leslie. I’m a sophomore from Zionsville, Indiana studying to become an Elementary Education teacher. I’ve wanted to be a teacher for a very long time now and I’m so excited that I’m actually working towards that goal right now. In my free time I love to hang out with my friends, exercise, and volunteer at the local Boys and Girls Club. I’m so excited to start this class and to final gain some real classroom experience. I think it’s going to be a great semester.

Big Idea: Learning happens by children wanting to explore deeper into things that begin to interest them.
As a teacher, you need to provide hands on activities that can allow children to discover and learn new things.

I grew up in a very small elementary school. The entire 4th grade class consisted of less than 30 people. With that being said, because there were such a small number of students, my class and I were able to do a lot of hands on activities without it being too overwhelming for our teacher. For example, to learn about stalagmites and stalactites we went and visited Marengo Cave and saw them in person. When we learned about the old days and pioneers, we hosted a Pioneer day where all students dressed up as Pioneers and we learned how to cook over a fire, how to milk a goat and how to weave baskets. Then finally, when we learned about Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad, we reenacted the Underground Railroad to learn what it was like to be a part of it. As you can see, I grew up learning by doing. When I became involved with an activity I was much more apt to wanting to learn about a specific topic. That is why I believe students learn best by being provided with hands on activities that can allow them to discover and want to learn new things. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Toni Self: Redesign for blog

I would keep my idea of people learn because many different factors affect how people learn including: genes, experiences and the critical and sensitive development periods.  In module 6, the constructivist theory is explained.  It supports my learning theory because it says “that each individual builds knowledge through interaction and experience” (EdPhysch, Module 6, Page 108).  Not one person has the exact same interactions and experiences of another; therefore the knowledge is built on different foundations.  Students will build different connections through different ways of teaching.  Each student will actively learn through different opportunities and by presenting different opportunities gives them better chances of making connections to the lesson.  The only part that I would change would be the activity at the end would be completed with the help of other students.  Activities completed with other students can help the student make better sense of the information or even trigger something to really understand the activity (Theory of Educators, Page 4).  Page 4 talks about how more recent findings have suggested group work to help students actively learn.  So looking at my example after the teacher wrote and discussed the process of baking cookies, then students would be given time to get into groups and together bake the cookies.  This gives students the opportunity to make it themselves, so they would have the experience which would help reinforce the concept.  Also, if students had questions their groups would be able to either answer it for them or work together to figure out the answer together.  This is a very active way of learning with others. 

Big Idea: Humans learn through repeated visual, kinesthetic and auditory lessons.

Activity: The teacher presents the lesson on the chalk board (visual and auditory) then students do hands on project.  For example, teacher writes out how to make a batch of cookies and leads the students through each step.  Then students are time to work with other students to make cookies.

Week 2 Model-Sarah Isaacson

For this week’s model, I stayed kept a few of the ideas I posted about on Sunday, but I modified and added that would correspond more to the ideas discussed in the book Theories and of Learning and Teaching-What Do They Mean for Educators?  This article discussed a few different theories, and it was not entirely clear to me, which theory was being discussed, but I am aware that they discussed the social theories of learning, which include social constructionism, sociocultural theory, and activity theory.  I seem to understand that they are all, essentially, the same theory, just under different names.   For my model, I chose to focus on this reading, not Module 6, which is about the brain and development. 

            My first image is a picture of a teacher working with students.  This is when the teacher would be teaching the students the lesson and using the students’ past experiences and “cultural differences…enabling [the teacher] to make more explicit and meaningful connections to students’ communities” (7).  This will help students feel more comfortable learning something new and finding comfort that what they are learning is actually pertinent to their lives.  I believe this is especially important in elementary school, because then it will help students feel more intrinsically motivated as opposed to feeling extrinsically motivated.  Because the teacher is discussing with students, the students are learning through participation, which means “roles are flexible…and the purpose of the activity is clear and meaningful to all participants” (5).  Students should then feel more of a pull to learn by working on a closer level with their teacher.  Then, the teacher allows the students to work in groups, reading together, which creates a community within the classroom.  Vygotsky says that sociocultural theory is where “learning is fundamentally a social phenomenon that takes place within the communities” (5).  The students will be participating more and will realize that reading is something that they will be doing in the real world.  They will make the connection that “knowledge is inseparable from practice” (4).  The teacher will be walking around the room, making sure that no one is really struggling, but the teacher is there as a guide and a facilitator, instead of having a “fixed role” (5).  My last image is of a student reading aloud.  This would be an assessment that ties in well with sociocultural theory.  Because sociocultural theory is based on collaborating and participation, it would seem prevalent that an assessment should also be social and the “norms for testing the quality of a performance [should be] determined by groups, not individuals, and one’s performance is assessed through genuine participation” (5).  In my model, this would be a student reading aloud during the designated time where the teacher would have a read-aloud time.  The student would get to pick a book that is at their reading level and read aloud, showing their knowledge of phonics and reading with accurate inflection.  This way, students could support each other in their community and also help assess their reading ability.  The teacher would have to make sure, though, that the students are supportive of each other, so that the students who are not as advanced will not feel behind or stupid.  That is why the sense of community is so important in the classroom.  

Updated Model Reflection

After reading “Theories for Educators”, I still stand by my original model of learning that I posted on Sunday, August 26th  therefore I have not created a new model to post. The chapter explains how children learn an abundant amount of information when they interact with their environments.
Suzanne M. Wilson and Penelope L. Peterson are very clear when they talk about the conclusions that different research studies have reached. The authors proclaim that, in the past, there was common misconception that the best way students would learn was through only listening. This would mean that the best form of teaching would be to lecture and for students to just sit quietly and listen to the instructor speak. People thought that as long as teachers were clear when speaking and explaining information, students would understand just as clearly as the teacher explained it. If students were unsure, it was assumed that the instructor just did not do a good enough job of informing their class.
However, with today’s information, we know that this is not the case. Students actually remember more when they can relate what they are learning to actual experiences they have had in their own personal lives. Therefore, if a teacher conducts their lessons with a series of activities that illustrate the concepts they are teaching, their students are more likely to gain a deeper understanding of the ideas they are conveying to their class. Having said this, there are definitely still some benefits of having a classroom of students put everything down, have their eyes up at the front of the room, and listen to their teacher educate them about a particular concept. This method of teaching just may not be the most beneficial for the students and should definitely not be the only form of educating used in a classroom.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Toni Self: Big Idea Reflection

Big Idea: Humans learn through repeated visual, kinesthetic and auditory lessons.


Activity: The teacher presents the lesson on the chalk board (visual and auditory) then students do hands on project.  For example, teacher writes out how to make a batch of cookies and leads the students through each step.  Then students are given independence to do it themselves.


My big idea is that humans learn through visual, kinesthetic and auditory lessons.  Basically I think that students cannot fully grasp and contain information when they just listen to a boring lecture and take notes.  Not only is this a lazy way of teaching but it also lacks any creativity.  A boring lecture will not only loose the attention of the students but will take away from lesson.  I truly think if the teacher is not excited about the lesson, neither will the students.  There are very few people who can listen to a lecture and then remember most of what was discussed.  By involving the three different types of teaching, it reinforces and reviews the information.  I think students need to be engaged in these three types of teaching to really comprehend and contain a lesson.    In my experience, when I have been taught in these three ways I have an easier time remembering and reviewing the information.  My example for this was very basic, but it does explain my big idea.  A student writes out on the chalk board how to make the cookies (visual), then she leads the students through each step and answers questions (auditory), and lastly she gives the student the opportunity to make a batch of cookies themselves (kinesthetic).  This gives the students a chance to put in to practice what they have learned.  This lesson would relate to my big idea by covering each area that I believe students need to fully understand a lesson. 

Megan Cox

Hi! My name's Megan Cox and I'm a Junior here at Indiana University. I am currently studying for the Teaching All Learners Program and hope to be enrolled this fall. Along with that, I am also studying for a minor in dance. My older sister, who is one of three, was born with Down Syndrome and that is one of the reasons that led me to want to teach Special Education. Whether is was during my many hours of volunteering at Special Olympics or just hanging out with the students who I peer tutored, I've always been interested in that field of work. During my time here at IU, I am part of the Indiana Red Steppers dance team and am also an active member of my sorority, Theta Phi Alpha. In my free time, you can find me waiting on tables here at our local Bubs in Bloomington. 


First Model

In my mind, students learn in many different ways. Three ways that I feel they learn best is by reading, watching and listening.  When all ways of learning are used in the same setting, students become much more engaged and therefor, the students have a higher chance of retaining the information.


One activity that could incorporate all three learning styles would be an online learning game.  Students listen to the activity, read the instructions and questions, all while watching a computer screen.  Because the activity is somewhat considered a "game", students have fun and are that much more engaged in the activity.  An online learning game would efficiently help students learn and keep them more focused and alert to what they're doing.  The game would be enjoyable for the students and would make them want to learn more!

Week 1: Introduction, Learning Model, and Reflection

         My name is Madilyn Welton and I'm a sophomore at Indiana University. I am studying the Teaching All Learners Program, which is a double major in elementary and special education. I am also considering a minor in Spanish. I would love to travel around the world and teach to less fortunate kids. Even if I were to teach in the US, I would like to teach in low-income areas to help children who are having difficulties. I had some teachers in elementary school who were really there for me through rough times and made a big difference in my life. This is what motivates me to make a difference for other kids. I am a firm believer that education is power and teachers can make a real difference.
Big Idea: Learning grows when kids have fun. What they have learned will stick in their head better when they associate it with something they have interest in. 

Activity: A teacher takes her students outside to teach because she knows her small children like to play outside. They can then associate learning with the fun times they have playing outdoors.
       My big idea for my diagram was that learning happens and grows when kids connect it to having fun. In my experience with school (and life in general), I have found that it is easier to remember things when it connects to something I already have an interest in, and doing something interesting is considered fun. For example, I still remember stories that were read to me from years ago because they sparked my interest. Also, when I was younger I used to make up songs to help me remember things for class. The songs were fun and so I was able to remember things a long way down the road I would have never memorized otherwise because I could link it to a fun song in my head. Taking interest in what you are doing inevitably sparks your brain to pay more attention and have more motivation to process whatever it is you are supposed to be learning. This idea is standard for anyone of any age, but especially to younger kids. They have a hard time having the self-discipline to sit down and learn when it’s not necessarily what they feel like doing. However, if teachers can plan their lessons to be directed toward the children’s interest, kids won’t need to force themselves to do anything, because they’ll enjoy it.
The activity I created was simple, a teacher deciding to take her class outside to learn. I think it is safe to say that when kids think of outside, they think of fun. It’s where they have recess, the best time of their school day! Therefore, I think when a teacher decides to take their students outside, it automatically sparks more energy and excitement needed to learn. Almost any subject could be taught outside if the teacher is creative enough. For example, pretend like the teacher wants to teach a math lesson on division. The class could play “clump.” This game requires students to run around freely and then when the teacher yells out a certain number, they must quickly clump together in a group with that many people. The teacher must shout out a number that is not divisible by the number of students so that there will be some left out and then those students will be out. After each round the class can count how many groups of that number they were able to form and how many students were left out (the remainder). The game then continues until there is only two people left and they are the winners. This is just one example of what a class can do outdoors. This activity relates to my big idea because it is getting kids to have fun and connecting it with learning.

Toni Self

Hello Everyone!
My name is Toni Self and I am a sophmore studying Early Childhood Education.  I transferred to IU last semester from a small private school.  I am from Fairland, Indiana which is located on the southeast side of Indianapolis.  I have two older siblings: one is a Chick-fil-a manager and the other is a RN.  They both live in Columbus, OH leaving their baby sister with the parents.  My mom is a nurse practitioner at IU Health in downtown Indianapolis.  My dad is a business man for a chemical company. 
First semester of college I had this grand idea that I wanted to be a wedding planner, but I was still unsure.  So then I took a career test and it made everything clear.  It said that since I really wanted to be a mother one day and since I love children that I should go into teaching. I absolutely love my major now! I am very excited to be a teacher one day and I am very excited for this field experience.

Robin's 1st model for learning

As a teacher, it's important to appeal to as many learning styles as possible. Perhaps reading about a subject in class and discussing it is enough for some but others might need more than this. In fact, most kids probably will need more in order for the information to really "stick".  I think the most effective model for learning will have something for every type of learner and should push students to further their knowledge and think critically. Teachers should create opportunities for both individual and group thinking. The most effective educator will have a curriculum flexible to the interests and findings of the student. He or she should be able to guide learning experiences without dictating. This can be done through instigated and guided discussion matched with stimulation and hopefully inspiration (my favorite word).
Use the example of a boy learning to fish.
Observing and analyzing a problem.
Here the boy watches an elder fish.They might also actively discuss what they are doing to address aural and oral learning. Using examples is one way to make connections in the mind so that the information less likely to be lost. In a classroom the teacher has many possible ways to introduce a subject. This might be reading and reflecting individually and or collaboratively on the subject. Later though, the students need some way to explore this subject outside the pages of a book.

Critical thinking happens here to solve problems first hand.  
I have two photos here to illustrate that exploration of a topic can be guided by the teacher but should not undermine the student’s unique perception. There is nothing like “learning the hard way”  The most effective way is having the freedom to explore one's interests. One way for a teacher to have loose guidance would be to ask the student to create something from his/her findings even if its just a couple sentences to share. Which brings us to analysis.

Analysis and Questioning
Again every student has a unique contribution to discussion. However the teacher must guide discussion and analysis though questioning in order to bring it home for the students and wrap up the experiences. I emphasize QUESTIONING  here because it’s important to bring them to the destination rather than point straight at it. Questions might also open new doors for further learning.
Critical thinking happens here to further learning with new questions or problems based on student’s interests and experiences.

Robin Stroud

Hi everyone!
I'm Robin; I have lived in Bloomington my whole life. Graduated from Bloomington High School South in 2008. I volunteered often in High School at several elementary schools, Wonderlab, Bradford Woods, and a horse stable for disabled kids and adults. I knew I wanted to be a teacher my senior year of high school. Now, I'm still working on my undergraduate degree except I have a whole new challenge! I'm a new mother. I have a one year old son named Dayln. He is the light at the end of my tunnel. I cant wait to graduate college and prove to him that hard work pays off! I want him to grow up already knowing what took me some time to figure out: that education is both a privilege and duty to oneself. I hope my next two years at Indiana University will turn me into the professional educator I have always dreamed to be.