Student Engagement and Closing the Opportunity Gap: An Action Plan, Part 2 - Reading By... - 31 views
Student Engagement and Closing the Opportunity Gap: An Action Plan, Part 1 - Reading By... - 62 views
Student Engagement Still Low in U.S. Schools - 67 views
This informational text piece lends itself to having students create an associative letter project versus a traditional report. In an associative letter project, students are assigned a letter that they must use to find words representing the text they’ve just read. For example, “R is for the Montgomery Bus Boycott” might lead a student to choose words like race, rights, or Rosa as the focus of a variety of paragraphs that describe the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
By providing students with meaningful, thought-provoking experiences, you can turn informational text study into an exercise in creative and critical thinking!
Informational text isn’t going to bring about the death of creativity; rather, creativity depends upon what we ask students to do with the text once they’ve read it. If we ask students to read a non-fiction passage then fill out a worksheet about the passage, we are missing a chance to provide our students with an opportunity to create imaginative, artistic end products demonstrating critical thinking skills hard at work.
- ...1 more annotation...
Exemplar Informational Text: Freedom Walkers, the Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by Russell Freedman
Creative Thinking Approach: Associative Letter Project
In Freedom Walkers,
Most schools will say that they want students to have an understanding of their world as a whole, but they seldom look at topics with an interdisciplinary focus. Why? It is easy to find reasons why this disjointed approach to learning happens:
· Some argue that there is so much content and so many skills to be learned
in each discipline that they don’t have time to integrate subjects.
· Others say that the each discipline has a body of knowledge and skills that
should stand on its own and not be muddied by the intrusion of other disciplines.
· Secondary educators say that there is insufficient common planning time
to combine their efforts to teach an interdisciplinary course.
· Still others say that the whole system is geared toward separate subjects
and to break out of this would require a monumental effort.
· Others are guided by “the tests,” which are presented by separate disciplines.
The ultimate goal for the study of any subject is to develop a deeper understanding of its content and skills so that students can engage in higher-level thinking and higher- level application of its principles. When students dig deeper and understand content across several disciplines, they will be better equipped to engage in substantive discussion and application of the topic. They will also be better able to see relationships across disciplines.
They organize students into interdisciplinary teams and coordinate lessons so that what happens in math, science, language arts, and social studies all tie to a common theme. Many times these teachers team-teach during larger blocks of time. Advocates of this more holistic approach to curriculum argue that it helps students:
- ...2 more annotations...
Of course, digging deeper doesn’t fit well in the time frame that most schools use. It takes time to link content across several disciplines, and it may be difficult to squeeze a learning activity into a 40-minute period. To change the method of learning will mean changing more than the curricula. The school structure, including the schedule and methodology will also need to change.
To prepare our students for an integrated world, we need to break out of the separate-discipline mentality and develop more holistic and problem/project-based approaches. Many have tried to do this, and it isn’t easy.
Reflect & Refine: Building a Learning Community: Advancing Learning Journeys: Digital S... - 21 views
Sustaining Engagement: One School's Attempt to Develop Lifelong Readers - The Stenhouse... - 51 views
When students use tool technologies to create content, their engagement is largely based on how successfully teachers craft the learning assignments, rather than on the technology itself. This is different from what happens with other types of technologies, such as tutor technologies (e.g. software for learning). Here, student engagement depends principally on technology, taking teachers almost completely out of the equation.
The Myths of Technology Series – “Technology equals engagement”
As educators, we have to be able to differentiate between “novelty” and “engagement”; they often look the same at the beginning, but one will quickly fade.
Compliance – Do this because I told you.
Engagement – Do this because you are excited.
Empowerment – Do this because you have the power to do something meaningful for yourself.
- ...1 more annotation...
engagement” should not be the highest bar we set for our students. If we can develop meaningful learning opportunities that empower our students to make a difference, our impact will go beyond their time they spent in our classrooms. Technology alone will never provide this. We need great educators that think differently about the opportunities we now have in our world and will take advantage of what we have in front of us, and help to create these experiences for our students to do something powerful.