Educ 415 Blog

Month: June, 2013

Oh how I love space……..


I had to pick this post for two reasons: 1) I love space, all things space, or solar system, space travel, the universe etc. 2) I love Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  But after picking this post for those two reasons I found what a fun activity this would be.  I really like the idea of using predictions to set up problems, it think students can learn so much when they have to try and figure something out with out much help/knowledge.  It also gives the kids something to think back on after the math is done, it gives them instant feedback to how their thinking and knowledge of the problem has changed.  This lesson could be so much more though, I was thinking it could be done as an in-class project.   The students would be told they have a 5m diameter sun and they have the rest of the class to make a planet that is the correct size (proportionally), they would also have to say how far from the 5m sun it would be.  This lesson could teach several skills and it could be a lot of fun.  


Assessment is hard enough concept for me to get my head around.  Reassessment is something I have given very little thought to because initial assessment is giving enough thoughts.  But I absolutely love this idea I having students apply for reassessment.  There are many things I like about this idea:

1) It takes effort to apply for reassessment, so students should and would (I think) take it seriously.  

2) In an application (like the one set up on Sam’s blog), students would have to show me what they have learned or worked on, since the initial assessment.  

3) Students will have ownership of setting up a time to be reassessed.  

4) It may eliminate the test-fail, re-test-fail scenario.  Where I student hasn’t learned anything since the first test but come in for the retest anyways.  Which is a waste of everyone’s time (mine, and the students). 

I love reading these blogs and am struggling not to spend hours flipping through them all (I have other things I need to do….. haha).  I am going to try something like this as soon as I get a chance to, it really puts students in charge of their own learning.  It also helps students know where they are and where they are going, assessment through the concept of navigation!

Avoiding the teaching Plateau

This blog post really hit home with me.  I, like Micheal, have noticed that I have hit plateaus in life outside of the educational context.  I am an avid snowboarder, but I have noticed that I am not really getting any better over the last couple years.  This is because I do not go enough to get over the plateau on my skill level, I have not engaged in ‘hard practice’, I just show up at the mountain and ride I have no systematic approach.  I have found the same in volleyball, I have reached a skill level where without training harder and smarter I will not get any better.  In both these sports I have plateaued and consequently they are not as much fun as they used to, I sill do both sports and have a great time but since my skills are not improving at the same rate as they once were I have found my self to be complacent.  This is something I need to avoid in my teaching career as I believe I have a good skill set to start with but I can’t allow complacency slip into my practice.  I like Micheal idea of a systematic approach to ‘practice’.  I will keep a daily log to chart the daily pros but most importantly the daily cons.  I also think the point of consuming good teaching is brilliant, I find that I have stolen like tricks and tactics from many good teachers from my past and I think it is a great idea to try to find some more.   Being a good teacher comes easy to me, but being a great teacher will take years of ‘hard practice’ and not allowing myself to be complacent or comfortable.