Moving Beyond the Industrial Classroom
H.S. teacher researching, searching, understanding (trying to), noting, etc. the ideals of constructivism and applying it in the classroom.
Labels: data-driven instruction
In this week's study of my grad program at University of New England, we had to research something that we wonder, question, consider...and consider ways to implement our findings into our classes. I decided to look at writing and emotions. Transformative learning was a key term that came up time and time again. Researchers state how kids need to be motivated to write; they must care and connect to the subject in order for the writing to be authentic. Is this "allowed" in the era of high-stakes testing? Can we have kids focus on writing they care about, but push them to fix conventions? How can we marry both authenticity and explicitness?
Labels: Google sites
After my senior essays' lack of interest: no "hooks", bland discussions of their novel, dry language throughout, I wondered not only about their writing skills, but what we ask our students to do their junior and senior years. We want students to use critical thinking, outside sources, and literary criticism to make an argument, a claim, for a new way of looking at a piece of writing. We uphold literary analysis as the creme de la creme of writing. Or do we?
Collecting my senior essays last week, I was so sad to see their writing. Frankly it was dismal and certainly not at a senior level of writing. I wonder if we're sending kids into college being illiterate writers.
I have to say, I love wikis. The love of a to-do list that is organized with its details, chronological agenda, focused with its goals, and aesthetically pleasing, flowers scroll along its top. Every year I return to the wiki, for my own writing, adding in new pieces from my summer journeys and also to find ways for students to share their writing with each other...and others beyond the classroom walls.
Click here to get a free wiki for teachers.
I don't know why, but I changed the way I test for understanding with quizzes this year. In doing so, I found an easy way to get seniors to reread. I know, seniors, going back to the text and actually reading it again?!