When teaching a new skill, it is essential to construct the learning experience in such a way as to reduce the complexity of the skill to a simple task or tasks that cannot be misconstrued. This may include very specific directions and questions that guide the student as they perform the activity. As mastery is achieved, the supports are taken away. This process is known as instructional scaffolding and is the essence of teaching. Continue reading
The start of school is right around the corner and I’ve been spending time preparing for the first few days. They are crucial days as the tone is established; relationships develop or don’t and procedures are put in place. Within the first few days, I have several objectives: make my class unique, build relationships, establish an expectation of self-directed learning and communicate basic class procedures and expectations. While I have consulted many resources (Check out this resource built around Alan November’s first five days project.) and planned some great activities, the presentation of the syllabus remains a challenge.
Working in a one-to-one school district, where every student is provided with a device such as an iPad or Chromebook, can be a great opportunity of freedom for teachers and students. The device serves as an efficient tool to create and curate information, as well as, a flexible environment to share content. No longer does an individual need to negotiate with textbook publishers and be locked into the confines of the perception of the authors of a company when it comes to the content and methods that should be used to teach a specific skill or understanding. The digital world allows for educators to create e-books, or electronic versions of a book that may contain interactive elements, that can be produced, shared, and modified quickly and with little expense to a school district. Continue reading