Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Blog Post 12
What I Learned This Year (2) by Mr. McClung
Mr. McClung has definitely changed, grown, and adapted in his second year of teaching. My favorite thing about this teacher is that he is honest and does not sugarcoat everything to make teaching sound like the Utopia of the career world. I also found it very helpful that he shared his experiences about teaching different subjects. This is a fear of mine, as I put it in my comment, I don't want to be thrown to the "historical wolves" and not know what to do.
M-Cubed: ISTE Presentation Video
While watching this video, it took me a second to realize what was going on. The children manipulated shapes with software on the computer and out of a printer-like device called a fabricator came the shape laid out in 2D to be assembled in 3D! If I only had this tool in geometry. I think this is a great concept and tool for children to better understand shapes and figures in math and science. The kids in the video appeared to be extremely excited and engaged in the process!
The Children's Engineering Initiative
In this video, Dr. Robert Pianta (University of Virginia) speaks about the "engineering initiative". He believes in combining math and science to better develop problem solving skills. I think this is what is lost in math and science classes today. It goes back to the familiar debate of the test, there are so many worries about getting test questions right that there is not enough time spent on problem solving skills. This was my worst area in math. I wasn't really bad at math but I would definitely skip a word problem if I could. Children need to develop a more complex thought pattern to not only get themselves through school, but through life.
The Principle of Least Change
This video features Dr. Laura Smolkin who talks about the "principle of least change". Dr. Smolkin recognizes that the use of fabricators is a big change in the students' normal routine and says that if this change is given in lighter doses, the students can better adapt. I think this is true not only for the students but for the teachers as well. It is just like someone who has been teaching from the books for a long period of time and suddenly they have a computer thrown at them. What is that teacher going to do? Most likely reject that method of teaching. That is why small doses of small change results in big change over time.