19 October 2012

The impact of a lightbulb?

I am going to show my true dork colors with this post.

I went to a literacy workshop at the Teachers' College at Columbia University and learned so much about how to help students read content text and to write about their learning.

The past few weeks, it has really been evident, and really annoyed me that my students often regurgitate what they read when answering a question.  When I try and make the questions something they actually have to think about, they complain that the answers are not in the book.

Yesterday, on a review sheet about the Second Industrial Revolution, I asked the students to write about different inventions.  They had to tell me what the invention did and how it would help people and the society.  Some of the students had a hard time telling me what impact the lightbulb, the engine, and the airplane had on people since the answer was not written in the book.

I had to stop the class after the third person asked me what the answer was.  We had a mini-lesson on thinking about how they use the item, what it would have been like before the item existed, and therefore the impact that invention may have had on society.

It was a real test of my patience and my desire to use sarcasm to be able to answer their questions.

The workshop man taught strategies to help students read text and actually take notes to show what they learned, not on the book.  Makes so much sense, and is what I plan to start doing with the kids on Monday.

I am such a dork that I am excited about all the strategies he taught, will review my notes several times, and may even buy his book and start to follow him on Twitter.

I'm linking up with Papa Is A Preacher's Tidbit Thursday (I'm a day late... oops).

You can click to see other linkup participants and to read her posts.





12 comments:

  1. Thanks for linking up a.eye. :) It's Friday and the link up ends Tuesday so you're all good. :D

    It's wonderful that you get excited about teaching and I confess during my course on being a swimming instructor I got super excited when we learned techniques, applied them to the class and actually got results! It was so wonderful I might have done happy dances in the change rooms. Shh. Don't tell.

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    1. Thanks for hosting the link up!

      I would have loved to have an instructor that was excited about learning and teaching!! Perhaps I shall take up dancing in the teachers room or in my classroom after students dismiss, or before come in... or maybe even while they are in class.

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  2. See, students aren't the only ones learning!

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    1. So true! I learn each day that I teach and even more when I do these sort of useful workshops.

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  3. Those students are very lucky to have a teacher like you. I wish you are my girls' teacher. Keep it up and love reading your enthusiasm!

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    1. Thanks! That is really kind of you.

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  4. Lol! I remember being that age and not having a clue how to answer questions like that. I think my analytical skills finally kicked in just as I reached university though.

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    1. I know that for a while in my younger years, I needed to have things explicitly explained to me. Questions that required me to give my own opinion or allowed me free reign with an answer were hard. Hopefully, I'm helping the students get better with this.

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  5. We need more teachers that get excited about our students being better learners. Visiting from Larissa's linkup.

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    1. Thanks for stopping in. I hope more teachers can get into understanding way sto help their students rather than just complaining about their levels.

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  6. It's great that you've kept that passion to help your students really learn. I hope my kids have teachers like you when they reach school age.

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    1. Thanks! I hope they have teachers that are even better!!

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I share my thoughts and would love to read your thoughts, too.