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Module 3 Melanie J.

DeBord ELED 300 Texas A & M University-Commerce

1 I believe that social interaction in the classroom is vital to the success of the students’ learning. When students make connections with their teachers, other students and the lesson, they are better engaged and prepared to learn. A large classroom full of students can be an intimidating scene to the students who are quiet, shy, or lack confidence. In order to engage these students especially and all of the students in the classroom, group work can be utilized. Students will feel more comfortable to discuss their ideas in a smaller group versus an entire classroom. These ideas are outlined in Competency 7 under ‘Best Practices’. A lot of planning is required for group work to be successful. The arrangements of the group within the classroom as well as the students who are group members can make or break an effective group session. “Group work involves students working together in a group small enough so that everyone can participate on a clearly assigned task that typically supplements other instruction”. p212 (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012) Cooperative learning styles incorporate many different ways for students to communicate what they have learned or what they would like to learn. It is important that the teacher knows their students well enough to understand their strengths and weaknesses in the classroom and pair them with other group members so that the group is effective and all students can contribute to the group and lean together. I think this is also a great opportunity to find a student who may have a particular hobby or interest and they can become a group leader because of the knowledge that they already possess. “Jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy that uses task specialization to make individual students “experts” on a particular area or topic”. p223 (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012) When this learning style is used, the work load can be broken up into smaller pieces and

2 the group can work together so that all members can share with each other what they have learned from their portion of the jigsaw. When I think of working together in a group, I consider them my team. A way to incorporate a team strategy in the form of cooperative learning is to utilize student teams achievement divisions, also known as STAD. “A STAD uses four- or five-member, multi-ability teams to muster basic skills” p218 (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012) I feel that this is a good way to integrate the lower achieving students with the higher achieving students so that they can work together toward a common goal. Prior to delivering a lesson to students, the teacher needs to think ahead and decide what the learning objectives should be, what the students already know about a topic, or what they need to know ahead of time, and prepare examples or be able to model what you plan to require of your students. “Direct Instruction is a teaching strategy in which the teacher presents welldefined knowledge and skills and explicitly guides the learning process” (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012) In Competency 9, it is mentioned that a variety of media and technology can be utilized in the classroom to help the students understand the lessons better and keep their interest. As a teacher prepares the lesson, they should find ways to incorporate technology into the lesson. Some examples of ways to incorporate technology include; using prezi presentations, power point presentations, YouTube clips, and smart boards. Teachers must consider that the classroom is full of individual learners who have unique interests and learning styles. Finding ways to get the students involved in the lesson and make connections to the lessons will assist the students in retaining the information that is presented in

3 the classroom. Organized bodies of knowledge are a great way to help students make connections by integrating facts, concepts, and generalizations together. A lot of teachers choose to lecture as a way to provide information to their students. The book points out that there are both strengths and weaknesses in lectures. Lectures allow the instructor to provide a great deal of information to students that would have otherwise taken the student a long time to accumulate and research. The book talks about the fact that lectures can overload students with information and cause the students to lose the attention of the teacher which makes the lecture ineffective. Lecture discussion is a great way to involve the students by allowing them to respond to the information that has been presented to them. “Lecture discussion is a teaching strategy that combines short periods of teacher presentation with extensive teacher-student interaction.” p285 (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012) Another great teaching strategy that I plan to use in my classroom is called guided discovery. “Guided discovery is an instructional strategy in which teachers specify learning objectives, arrange information so that clearly defined patterns can be found, and guide students to the objectives.” p312 ((Clark & Mayer, 2003; Moreno, 2004) (Kauchak & Eggen, 2012)) This type of instruction may be used effectively with any age group. What I like most about guided discovery is that it seems to draw the students into the lesson more than other strategies by presenting a problem for them to consider and help to solve which makes a person naturally curious to learn the rest of the information in the lesson. Competency 7 talks about ways to make the discussions more effective which ties in nicely to ideas found in Chapter 10. A teacher needs to plan for this sort of lesson by preparing a good introduction that perks the interest of the

4 students, asking several open ended questions throughout the lesson, speaking about the learning objectives, summarizing what was in the lesson and having an application. When I become a teacher, I want to encourage my students to think critically and be able to demonstrate good problem solving skills. A way to reinforce these ideas is to use a teaching strategy found in chapter 11 called problem-based instruction. The main idea of the lesson is that the students are expected to solve a problem or find an answer to a specific question. I think that at the beginning of the school year, I will introduce the ideas of trial and error, means-end analysis, working backward, and drawing analogies. Once the students are presented with these ideas, they can effectively use these strategies to solve problems both in the classroom and in their daily life. I think this style of instruction leads students away from old ideals such a simply memorizing a list of facts and figures and being able to independently work through a problem or work well within a group to collectively solve a problem. We are teaching students who will need these very important skills to be effective and successful when they choose a career path. When I become a teacher, I want to use the group strategies within my classroom mostly because I feel that it helps the students to participate and engage in the lesson. I also feel that when we consider the fact that we are teaching students life lessons as well and most career fields require a person to be a ‘team player’ and possess good communication skills. When we teach students to work in small groups, it helps them to learn to work one on one with many different learning abilities and many different personalities.

Kauchak, D., & Eggen, P. (2012). Learning & teaching research-based methods. (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. _______________________________________________________________________________

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