EDU 6150 Course Reflection

During my time in General Inquiry, Teaching, and Assessment Methods, also known as EDU 6150, I have found great importance in the teaching skill of differentiation. This class focused on how to structure lessons as well as how to account for the unexpected when teaching a lesson. The standard that I think applies the best to what I have learned in this lesson is the differentiation program standard of 3.1.

3.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Students: Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency and displays this knowledge for groups of – students.

To me this standard doesn’t just say that teachers should be aware where their students are in their individual educational journey, but to also provide different opportunities for students within the same lesson to support those differences. In John Medina’s book Brain Rules (2007) he talks about how different each child is in their development and backs up the obvious need for differentiation in the classroom with his findings. In our class we had the opportunity to put this new knowledge to practice, and were able to build lesson plans and alter them over the course.

 Lesson Design Rough Draft

Final Lesson Plan with highlights

The first lesson shows my initial thoughts on how I would teach the lesson. The second is lesson shows all of the alterations and the highlights a couple of examples. I learned that I have to keep in mind all the needs of exceptional learners providing challenges, steps backwards, and possible opportunities to receive a little extra help. This class gave me the opportunity to alter my original lesson plan, to not only help me create a better lesson, but also allowed me to see my mistakes in my original lesson. I have found that when creating lessons it is so helpful to take a step back and keep in mind who the lesson is actually for. Thinking of individuals prepares a teacher to be ready to be flexible, rather than clumping the class’s abilities into one. In the future I am definitely going to have to keep in mind that my lessons are for individuals to learn, not just a whole class. To achieve this I think that I will always try to provide as much differentiation as possible, as well as doing a self-reflection after a lesson. This will always provide me an opportunity to comment on unexpected outcomes that need to be accounted for next time.

Medina, Brian. (2007). Brain Rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press

Reflection 2

This week in EDU 6132 we have been researching cognitive development. As a class and individually we have been learning reading on this from Pressley and McCormick’s book Child and Adolescent Development for Educators (2007). Looking at this topic immediately points me to the program standard 3.1.

3.1 Demonstrating Knowledge of Students: Teacher recognizes the value of understanding students’ skills, knowledge, and language proficiency and displays this knowledge for groups of – students.

To me this standard states that a teacher must know where their students are cognitively and understand that their students may be in different places. This connects to our reading because for teachers to show understanding of the differing abilities among students, they must have knowledge of the cognitive development. This includes having the ability to help build on their student’s development by using memorization techniques. This discussion post reflects on what I found from this weeks reading and shows my emerging knowledge as a future educator on memorization techniques.

discussion module 4

This post shows evidence that I am indeed learning about how to help my student’s cognitive skills develop, as well as gives examples of how I can build on concepts and account for wide ranges of memorization abilities. I believe as I continue learning about cognitive development and learn more about these sorts of strategies, I will be able to further develop upon this program standard.

After reflecting upon this information and discussing with classmates, I believe that I would personally use the strategies of chunking and personal connections. When it comes to future student learning I think that breaking up information into chunks will allow for a far less memory-demanding lesson. For example if I was teaching parts of a storyline, I would pull apart the lesson. This would entail teaching rising action, plot, falling action, and resolution in four separate parts. This would allow students to learn each portion separately and not confuse the different parts. Along with chunking I would like to utilize personal connection. For example in this same lesson I would have students think about a story in their life and have them pair a portion of their own story with the specific storyline definition. I believe that having a personal connection allows for a great memory connector. I hope to not only use these tools to exemplify 3.1 in my teaching, but to also use these in my own learning. In the future I may label these specific tools in my lesson plans showing my knowledge of the different skills that will be being used in the lesson.

Pressley, M. & McCormick, C.B. (2007). Child and adolescent development for educators. New York, NY: Guilford Press.