Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning

Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning by James M. Lang

I just started reading this book. My plan is to capture at least one idea from each chapter and incorporate immediately into my teaching.

Part 1: Knowledge
1. Retrieving. The idea here is that retrieval practice will help learners retain foundational material. Frequency matters, align practice and assessments and require thinking. The opening and closing of class are good places to add retrieval activities. 
I could close the training event with a short quiz or  solve a problem. I could also close the class by asking learners to write down the most important concept from today. 
Example of a problem. Your student needs to work online for 60 minutes during the week. How might you weave that time into your weekly schedule?

2. Predicting. Predictive activities prepare your mind for learning by driving you to make connections. Predictive exercises may also reveal gaps in our knowledge. Stay conceptual, provide fast feedback. Induce reflection. Curiosity.
Ideas. Begin the session with a pretest. When presenting a case or a problem, stop before the conclusion and ask the learner to predict the outcome.
Example: after reviewing the action tabs, ask participants how long they think it will take to check this information. After reviewing auto placement information ask participants to predict how long a 1st grader placed in level 2 will be asked to work online each week.

3. Interleaving. Spacing out learning sessions over time and mixing up your practice of skills you are seeking to develop.
If we used spaced learning to allow some time for forgetting to set in, we are forced to draw from our long-term memory when we return to it. A little forgetting has the effect of retriggering consolidation, further strengthening memory.
The time that intervenes between spaced learning sessions allows our mind to better organize and solidify what we are studying.

More to come.....

Friday, December 15, 2017

9 Fundamental Digital Skills for 21st Century Teachers

9 Fundamental Digital Skills for 21st Century Teachers

Recording and editing videos
Create interactive video content
Create info graphics and posters
Create PLNs, connect, discover, create new content, and grow professionally
Use blogs and wikis to create participatory spaces for students
Create engaging presentations
Create digital portfolios
Curate, organize and share digital resources
Create digital quizzes

From  www.educatorstechnology.com December 14, 12:08 AM

Friday, December 08, 2017

Book Discussions

Offering and facilitating a book discussion using a form of reciprocal teaching.

On December 7, 2017 the TLT Group offered a book discussion for members.  The book,  "How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens" by Benedict Carey. 

I invited TLT Members to chose a chapter in the book to read and then share at least two ideas that were most significant to them. Sharing could take several options: attend the session or submitting a summary in writing or via video or audio. I created a Google doc sign up sheet. "Sign Up for a Chapter." 

I then prepared a slide representing each chapter using Haiku Deck. 

Book Discussion "How We Learn" - Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

The approach was a form of reciprocal teaching in that each person shared information from their chapter.  The summaries took different forms, from verbal, to slides, to a document to a audio recording.  We had a small group of 7 people and we used ZOOM video conferencing platform to connect. 

Some of the lessons learned from this experience:

  • Most people only read their chapter not the entire book
  • Reading and summarizing one chapter was more manageable.
  • Participants who read one chapter were able to come away with insights from the entire book.
  • Participants who one chapter had more information and then could decide if they wanted to invest more time in reading the entire book or other aspects.
  • We needed a little more time structure to ensure that all chapters were given time. so setting a limit for each chapter would be good.
  • Add a few minutes at the end for debrief, what went well, what could be improved and next steps.
  • Provide more time to promote and describe the expectations in better detail. 
Next steps
  1. Decide what book to discuss next by surveying the TLTG Members. See survey below.
  2. Determine what approach to use. Link to Google search on book discussion questions

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Using apps to study and learn: Quizlet and Kahoot

Study Sets

I first started using Quizlet in March 2016. I created a set of questions and used them as a review at the end of a training session.

Next I used Quizlet for my own learning and created study sets to assist in my study of wine. I really liked being able to access the Quizlet app on my phone and study while I walked. 

Here is a link to a Quizlet study set I made while reading the book "Make It Stick."

I most recently used the Quizlet Learn activity as I worked to learn RAPID. I haven't used it fully as it has more long term planning and reminding features.  I plan to use this as I study for the WSET Level 3 certification course. Mire about this later.

Quizlet Live

Next up with Quizlet has recently been the new classroom game, Quizlet Live.  This is a team collaboration game. It works best with terminology. The first time I used it with a group the energy level went from 20 - 1000. It took me a little while to understand the collaboration piece.  When team members sign in they each see 4 different possible answer choices. This is important to explain as you start the game.  For some reason it wasn't intuitive to me.


You can also incorporate diagrams into Quizlet.  Here is an example, Tongue Taste Areas

I have used the quiz feature in Kahoot and love it as an in class review activity.  I would like to learn more about the Discussion, Survey and Jumble as well as the team aspect of the quiz game.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017