Active Teaching and Learning

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by shelli214, May 12, 2008.

  1. shelli214

    shelli214 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2008

    Next year the focus of my school will be "Active Teaching and Learning Techniques" and "Student Engagement Strategies". I am at an inner city high school, and will take ideas for all subject areas.
    Thank you!
     
  2.  
  3. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2008

    You should definitely look at Power Teaching. It is right along the lines of what you are seeking.

    Check out some video evidence here for:

    College Level
    Middle School Level
    Elementary Level

    For the step by step by step on how to implement check out my blog on this subject. Both Classroom management and teaching methods are included.
     
  4. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2008

    PowerTeacher, you have gotten me so intrigued about PowerTeaching, that I signed up for a workshop the first Saturday in June. I am really looking forward to it. Likewise, in addition to better strategies for CFU (checking for understanding), admin wants to see more movement and engaging strategies in classrooms next year. I am hoping to incorporate the Marcia Tate strategies, Kagan strategies, PowerTeaching strategies, etc. I have learned this past year to make one awesome math and science class! I want to blow the entire staff out of the water and be the one everyone wants to come see next year. Not to mention, I hope my math test scores next year will be through the roof! :2up:

     
  5. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 13, 2008

    Great! When you go in June be sure and tell Biff (Chris Biffle) that Jeff, his East Coast Power Teacher sent you.

    I am really looking forward to June also. Later in the month I am going down with Chris and some of the core instructors to Louisiana to teach entry level teachers there. I cannot wait!

    Feel free to read through my blog for step by step ideas on starting Power Teaching.

    I know Dr. Tate, and have spoken with her before. At the NC Middle School Association Conference she had me tell her breakout session about Power Teaching.

    As you read her stuff, which is excellent, you will see that Power Teaching is a practical application of her techniques on a tested framework of procedures.

    Make sure you take advantage of the free downloads they offer on the Power Teaching homepage.

    I heartily recommend using SuperSpeed 1000.
     
  6. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 13, 2008

    PowerTeacher,

    My other question is how do you teach your science class? Pretty much all of the 7th grade science teachers read from the text as a class and take notes/discuss/do activities as they read. I like this method because kids need the reading practice, and the note taking practice. However, picking on volunteers to read is hard to engage the kids in the reading. How do you keep your kids engaged reading from the text? I tried making powerpoints for lectures, but I spent hours and hours working one one powerpoint because I like adding all the bells and whistles, so they just aren't practical for me.
     
  7. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    34

    May 13, 2008

    I suggest that you add into the curriculum Iquiry based teaching. I do a lot of these lessons, and once I found one or two of the lessons on line, it has become easy to find a ton more. I teach geography, history and psychology and I use a lot of History Alive!, geography lessons from USGS, National Geographic and NASA. (I found many by doing the prof development free from Learner.org, teaching geography) And for psychology by searching for in class activities. The students love that kind of stuff and they are actively learning and working out problems (i.e. thinking) I also teach at an inner city school
     
  8. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 13, 2008

    Okay, Terrence, this is a long one.

    Each chapter is broken into sections with a specific emphasis on each section. I go through and look closely at the vocabulary and identify which terms are most important.

    We begin the class by getting their attention, and then the Yada Noise Control Scale, or Volume-O-Meter calibration. Do this one every day. It gives the kids a chance to blow off steam at the very start of class, and actually makes them more alert to what you are doing. They will remind you if you forget to use it. Most importantly, it establishes what is an acceptable level of noise, and you can change that for different activities.

    At the beginning of the section I introduce Power Vocabulary. We do the vocabulary for each section, though I will break that up into no more than five to six terms at once. Everyone stands, I give them a term with definition, and hand signs. I repeat it three times, and then say "Teach!" and they respond "Okay!" with a clap and face each other and teach one another the term, three repetitions (to begin dendritic growth). We will do this at least a couple of times in each section.

    I say "Throw your hands up in the air, set your mass down in the chair!" they sit down and we do about ten minutes of some sort of seat work. I use a lot of foldables, graphic organizers, and concept maps, puzzles, and labeled illustrations as class work assignments. I give them several choices of assignments including those just names, and more traditional ones, like section questions, and written vocabulary. Usually there are six assignments and they are expected to complete 4 of them. I typically only really grade an assignment called the Brain Check that comes after they have had the time to complete the other 4 assignments for that section. It consists of 5-10 questions of varying complexity that hit the critical concepts for the section.

    The incentive for them to do the other work is that they may not use their books on a Brain Check, but may use any work they have personally generated. The Brain Check is a Scale O individual assignment that we do starting about the second day on a section when they have had the time to do the background work. My kids love using the Brain Check because I grade it and give it back, and they can fix their mistakes for a higher grade. I love it because it cuts down dramatically on the grading I have to do, and targets the concepts I really want them to learn.

    We usually have less than half the 60 minute class in which we are doing written work. I also do not assign homework. I have found that the overall achievement has increased.

    When we have completed a section I use Micro-Lecture, complete with either the Woo, the One Second Applause, or a mixture of both to reinforce what they have learned. Micro-Lecture involves me giving them a single important fact and asking a student to repeat it. If they get it they get reinforced, if they miss it they get "it's cool," and a chance to repeat it until they get it correct.

    Engagement is much higher than with text reading. The information is at a faster pace, and the likelihood that any individual student will be called on is much greater so they need to pay attention more closely. This also points out who actually understands the concept, and who is just playing the game. It is better received by the kids because it is faster paced and eliminates the extraneous information in most texts.

    For PowerPoints the weakness is that Auditory and Kinesthetic learners get little from it. Many of them cannot take notes in this fashion. Not will not, cannot. I read narration onto each slide with a headset mike. Every few slides there is a note slide with different color font (usually white for information, yellow for note taking). Only from this slide will they take notes. This slide is also narrated. This method was arrived at through experimentation with the input of the students.

    We do labs, including living labs where the kids stand in as the materials involved (their favorites), inquiry based projects, and games and simulations that increase their grasp of concepts.

    We play a review game the day before a test nearly every time.

    With all of these things we use the Smiley-Frowney, or Plus-Minus Reward System.

    They build up time to either have a couple of minutes of free time, or they can play the SuperSpeed 1000 reading game, which they love, and is very effective at increasing their reading speed. This is one of the best educational games I have ever encountered and is available for free at the Power Teaching home page.

    I cannot tell you how much more I enjoy teaching now, and what an impact this has had on my kids. I am willing to answer any other questions you might have.
     
  9. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 13, 2008

    Next year, I am incorporating two new techniques into my classroom - Interactive student notebooks and Power Teaching
     
  10. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 14, 2008

    I plan on doing both as well for both math and science. For science, I plan on doing notes on one side, and then having them do the processing activity. For math, I plan having them put the notes on one side, homework will go on the other. I will also incorporate things like poems, graphic organizers, etc as processing activities for math. I like the fact of having the homework in the notebook, because it serves as a portfolio, and I can easily see who did and didn't do their homework at all times. It saves me dealing with files and paperwork. I am going to stamp homework every day, and then grade notebooks once a week based on the mount of stamps they collected.
     
  11. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 14, 2008

    Good idea!
     
  12. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 14, 2008

    I teach at an inner city middle school and have had tremedous success with my classroom motto "keepin' it real". I spend a lot of time learning about their lives and lifestyles in order to make my analogies pertinent to their lives. It gets their interest and usually keeps it.
     
  13. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 15, 2008

    I am also seriously considering adding interactive notebooks. Cool!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. SpecialPreskoo,
  2. miss-m,
  3. @suzy
Total: 377 (members: 4, guests: 350, robots: 23)
test