These last five weeks have been hard and very challenging. I can say that I have learned so much about myself and LOVED pretty every moment in this class. People might question these two statements because I am tired and feel like I am running ragged (it did not help to have the flu virus and the stomach bug.) As a teacher, I do not always know why I do certain things. I know I have not ever made the best choices, but I always learn from my mistake (growth mindset!) I also realized that my parents have played a big part in my learning. (This is close to my heart since eleven years ago both of my parents passed away.)
Thomas and Brown’s (2011) book on “A New Culture of Learning” confirmed to me why my makerspace innovation plan is important to continue in my classroom and add it to the whole school. This area has given the students to engage with their projects. The book said that “change motivates and challenges.” I know that changing different ways that I do things gives me a chance to grow and challenges me! As I think about my new culture of learning, I realize that it helps to have a growth mindset so there I can learn as I am challenged.
When I did my learning philosophy, I did not realize how personal it was going to be to me. My parents and teachers started me on a road of constructivism theory, and then classroom behavior happened. I know that the series of events took me out of the behaviorist theory. I am glad that my classroom environment has changed this year with all of the rotations (see both learning philosophy and the new culture of learning.)
With all of the environment, philosophy, and growth mindset, I have been looking for the end in mind and teaching the students for LIFE (not just a daily task.) Whether I am developing a lesson plan with the 3-column table (BHAG) or the UbD template, I am able to connect students to talents, interests, or life in general. I know that with these two lesson plans, I can see the big picture for the students.
Fink’s Taxonomy (2003)- Six Aspects of Learning (3-Column Table with Big Hairy Audacious Goal)
1. Foundational Knowledge- Understanding and remembering information and ideas
2. Application- Developing critical, creative, or practical thinking skills
3. Integration- Making connections between information, ideas, perspectives, people or realms of life
4. Human Dimension- learning about oneself or others
5. Caring- Developing new feelings, interests, or values
6. Learning How to Learn- Becoming a better student, inquiring about a subject, becoming self-directing learners
Wiggins and McTighe’s (2005) has an acronym WHERETO that highlights the key elements and considerations in instructional planning (pp. 197-198).
W- Ensure that students understand WHERE the unit is headed, and WHY.
H- HOOK students in the beginning and HOLD their attention throughout.
E- EQUIP students with necessary experiences, tools, knowledge, and know-how to meet performance goals.
R- Provide students with numerous opportunities to RETHINK big ideas, REFLECT on progress, and REVISE their work.
E2- Build on opportunities for students to EVALUATE progress and self-assess.
T- Be TAILORED to reflect individual talents, interests, styles, and needs.
O- Be ORGANIZED to optimize deep understanding as opposed to superficial coverage.
The things I have learned these last five weeks will be with me for years and years. I am glad to have the books so I can reference them frequently.
Brown, J. S. & Thomas, D. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, KY. CreateSpace.
Fink, L. D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.