Saturday, October 29, 2011

Notes for students who have a substitute teacher

I'm a substitute teacher and I want to bring in the model of teaching that Dennis Littky advocates.

Here's a draft of the memo that I inten
d to show students (they are ninth graders).

Dear Students

The model for centuries has been "listen to the lecture, take notes, review the notes, prepare for the test."

Some schools want students to take a more active role in the classroom.
Here's what Stanford University offers:

James Zull admits that "sometimes I lapse back to my old style of lecturing and within minutes I see in many students the glassy eyes of the passive learner."

James Zull, (2002) The art of changing the brain: enriching teaching by exploring the biology

Other items to discuss...

Lesson Plan: Biology

Day 1 Weds. Welcome – Thought of the Day - look at the lesson plan…

Explain the rules of conduct to the substitute teacher (let’s see what I don’t know)

Exchange information about “what works in education”

Do any of these methods work?

1. Teacher walks around

2. Teacher presents different bits of information that matter to each student

3. Different lesson plans for each student

4. Drive out fear

5. If there are many ways of learning, why not many ways of showing what we learned? “performances of understanding” can be visual or audio or written

6. Teacher offers extrinsic rewards (outer) and eventually lets the students find the motivation (intrinsic) inside themselves to continue the learning.

7. Teacher avoids lecturing. Classroom is for discussions and for students to explain what they learned the previous day.

Steve McCrea 1958 Princeton University 1978 Nova University 1984-87

Florida Atlantic University 1989-91 US Dept of Energy

Teacher of English to people from other countries 954 646 8246

Editor Electric Car Book steve mccrea GOTS Guide on the side

Goal: How should we use our time? What is your long-term goal? Goal for this week?

What product do you want to create by Friday?

Video poster written paper audio recording webpage blog entry

Content of the product

a) a cool list of reasons why we should study biology

b) a list of cool articles that we want to read over the next year or before we are 20 years old.


Lesson plan for days 2 and 3 (refer to your individual lesson plan)

  1. Welcome
  2. Thought for the day (presented by one of the students)
  3. work on the content and products
  4. write a summary of what we did
  5. plan the work for the next day
  6. prepare the room for the next class

I decided to stop lecturing several years ago and my students have been active and engaged in class ever since. But once in a while I slip back into that lecturing habit, and the minute I do, my students also slip back into that stupor that made me abandon the practice in the first place. (page 127)

If learning is change in neuronal networks, that change might not depend on instruction (learning can take place with or without instruction)....Rather than directing and instructing learning, we teachers should give the learner incentives and support in using what she already has in her brain. She will learn by selecting the right neuronal networks from among those that already exist. If she begins to fire some new networks, that will come by giving her new experience and showing her new things, not by instruction and explaining.

(page 122)

Zull, James (2002) The fine art of changing the brain: enriching the practice of teaching by exploring the biology of learning. Stylus Publishing (2002)

What would happen if students were able to read parts of the books about teaching methods that teachers studied?

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