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I create an entrance table (I use chairs or desks if there's no table) that holds handouts for students to pick up. From day one the students learn the routine: they arrive, pick up handouts on the entrance table, and read the screen for instructions. They know what to do, and it saves time. Here's how I recommend introducing the routine on day one. 1. Post your name and the name and section of the class on the screen, so that when students walk in they know that they are in the right place. 2. Write: "welcome" on the screen and have directions that tell students what they need to do immediately. Example: "As you enter, please tell me your name. Then pick up a syllabus, a card, and a folder from the entrance table. Fold the card so that it will stand on your desk, and write your first name on it in BIG letters. Add your last name and major in smaller print. Write your name on the tab of the folder, (last name first, then first name). Read the syllabus until class starts." Note: By asking students to tell you their name as they enter, you can hear how the name is pronounced, and avoid the embarrassment of pronouncing it for the first time yourself. 3. When it's time for class to start - start class! Late arrivals can catch up by reading the screen. 4. For classes of 25 or less, I have students do brief, 10-second introductions. I tell them there will be a verbal quiz after all the introductions and that they can win stars if they know who is who. (Have fun with this, but remember that these are adults and college is not like junior high.) 5. For larger classes, I have students introduce themselves to three or four people around them, and then we might do "stand-ups" - stand up if you are a Spanish major, stand up if you are an education major, and so on. I explain that students need to know each other for our small group work, and in case they have a question. 6. I collect the file folders and put them alphabetically by student name into a big plastic carrying case. When students need to turn in assignments, they find the box on the entrance table and they put their papers in their respective folders. When papers are graded, they can pull their graded tests or assignments from their folders. The beauty of this system is that time is never wasted by passing out papers. For small classes, I put handouts in the folders of absent students. 7. After the introductions and the explanation of the folder and box system, I turn to the "Today we will" list that I've written on the board, posted on a large paper flip-chart, or projected on the screen. I like to actually write this list on the board, so I can return to it even while projecting my notes. A "today we will" list outlines my plan for the day. For example, for the first day, my "today we will list" says: o See screen for instruction for card and folder. o Introductions o Turn in folders o Go over syllabus completely
o o o
Mini-lecture on _____________ Interest inventory Do you know what to read/do before the next class?
Note: The "today we will" list lets me walk around the room, teach from the projection system, and then look at the list for what I should do next. I tend not to forget things if I have the list. As the semester progresses, the "today we will" list might contain warm-up questions that then appear as test questions. The list helps students who arrive late or leave early see what they have missed.] 8. The mini-lesson/mini-lecture - whether it's a short overview of the first reading assignment, some sample problems, or 10 interesting questions students will be able to answer at the end of the course, I strongly recommend doing some course content on the first day. For classes that last longer than 50 minutes, I include a short student activity. I also think it's important to begin with course material on day one so that students begin to see who you are and how you teach. Since I teach courses in teacher education, I often talk about my teaching career. I include a few stories about how times have changed and about how some things in teaching never change. 9. Interest inventories are great for the first day of class. An interest inventory is just a short list of questions about students' backgrounds and interests. It may assess their prior learning as well. In addition to name and major, students can write about a hobby, interest, or goal. Do not be too personal. You can have them answer several questions about content - maybe solve a problem, write a short paragraph or answer specific questions. Finally open-ended questions are useful: o What are your goals after graduation? o What has a teacher done in the past that helped you to learn ______? o Is there anything else that you want me to know about you and your course of study? You can always add one fun question:
If your song played when you entered the room, what would that song be?
10. Every good class has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. I usually teach the mini-lesson, and then save the last six to eight minutes of class for the interest inventory and individual questions. This way, students don't have to wait on others to finish. I instruct students to turn in their interest inventory as they exit. As they are writing, I alphabetize their folders and put them in the box on the table. Another good closure is to ask if they know what to read/do before the next class, and if they know three people to ask about the assignment if they have a question.
Clinical Preceptors: Tips for Effective Teaching With Minimal Downtime
Harold C. Seim, MD, MPH; O. Guy Johnson, MD
(Fam Med 1999;31(8):538-9.)
Academic physicians know that we would not be able to run our student programs without the help of volunteer clinical faculty. These faculty love to teach, enjoy the satisfaction of aiding new physicians in their learning, and especially enjoy seeing the “aha” response that often comes from these eager learners. Tips to Make Clinical Instruction of Students More Efficient Orient Students to the Practice Setting Tell students where to hang their coats, where the bathroom is, and introduce them to the medical and ancillary staff. Watch the students with some patients first, and repeat an appropriate amount of the history and physical. Once the student is comfortable with the system, and the preceptor is comfortable with the student, allow the student to make the first contact with the patient. Clarify Your Expectations to the Students Revise your expectations as the students learn. Provide Constructive Feedback Immediate feedback is most effective. However, you can provide feedback at regular intervals in the teaching day. There is time to talk with students about their cases when walking back from morning rounds, going to noon conferences, or at the end of the clinic day. Share the Students With Other Partners A good method is to have a list of patients in the doctors’ common gathering area, along with their chief complaints; the students can choose the patients who provide the best learning experience. Other doctors will have interesting cases to show, as well. Sharing the students with other partners also helps when the primary preceptor is off. Students can read about an interesting case if patients are backing up. This will allow the preceptor to catch up. Students Need to Learn About How a Clinic Functions The nurse, business person, lab technician, and receptionist can provide insights for the student. Students Generally Like to See Patients Alone First, Present to the Preceptor, and Then See the Patient Together This may not always be the best learning strategy. An article by Epstein et al details 3
critical education experiences in which students were only observers of the clinical encounter.1 Encounters such as these are ones that may take little extra teaching time for preceptors. Teaching Students Helps Prevent Physician Burnout Teaching students reminds doctors why they enjoy medicine. Students ask questions that challenge preceptors. These questions require the physicians to have an explanation as to why they treated a patient in a certain way, and it is an opportunity to rethink the approach to treating a certain disease state. We are always students, and the preceptor and student can learn from each other. Inform Patients That Students Will Be Participating in Their Care Some clinics always have a student, and patients know they may be seen by a student. For those clinics that take students intermittently, patients should be informed about the student’s presence by the receptionist, the person checking in the patient, or by a sign at the reception desk. Patients who do not wish to see a student can be seen by the preceptor alone. Patients should be apprised that their physician has been chosen to participate in the medical school’s educational program, which lends a measure of prestige to the clinical faculty. Be a Role Model Role models during medical school, in clerkship encounters, and in residency can be a strong influence in medical students’ specialty choice. Conversely, negative experiences can turn students away from specific fields. It is incumbant on all of us to provide positive experiences for students to enhance rather than detract from a career in family practice. Include Students in Activities Outside the Clinical Setting Invite students for dinners in your home or at local restaurants or to sports events, plays, musical performances, and other social events. This gives students the opportunity to interact with preceptors in a more-relaxed situation than in the clinical setting. Be a Preceptor That Students Look Up To Qualities that students rate highly in their preceptors are respect for students and colleagues, empathy, a sense of humor, enthusiasm, and dependability.2 Highly rated professional qualities are being a good role model, ability to solve conflict, and fortitude to look for alternative answers to problems.3 Teaching medical students in the private office setting can and should be a highly rewarding experience for preceptors and students alike.
By William Watson Purkey and John M. Novak Inviting School Success, Wadworth, 1984
The following lists of inviting and disinviting verbal comments, personal behavior, physical environments, and printed signs have been identified by educators and students as indicators of the quality of life in schools. These lists are only illustrative, but the presence or absence of items on these lists may help to identify the inviting or disinviting stance taken by those who live and work in and around schools. These items may also serve as a checklist for those in schools who are already doing good things, and who want to do them even better. Verbal Comments
Forty Inviting Comments Good morning. Thanks very much. Congratulations. Let's talk it over. How can I help? Tell me about it. I appreciate your help. Happy birthday! I enjoy having you here I understand. We missed you. I'm glad you came by. I like that idea! I think you can. Welcome. I like what you did. Welcome back. You are unique. That's even better. I've been thinking of you. How are things going? How are you? I'd like your opinion. Happy holiday! What do you think? Let's have lunch. What can I do for you? Of course I have the time. That's OK. I am impressed.
Forty Disinviting Comments Keep out. What Mary is trying to say is... Use your head. It won't work. You'll have to call back. You can't do that. I don't care what you do. Not bad, for a girl. Don't be so stupid. Who do you think you are? He can't be disturbed. Why didn't you stay home? Woman driver! They don't want to learn. They don't have the ability. You can't be that dumb. They're all right, in their place. Who's calling. You should not feel that way. You ought to know better. You must do as I say. How could you? Shape up or ship out. Anybody can do that. Why do you bother coming to school? That's a childish viewpoint. That is dead wrong. Hi, Chubby. You goofed. Get lost.
You made me feel good. Yes. Please come in. I've always got time for you. I think you can do it. Please tell me more. May I help you? Let's do it together. Come back soon! I enjoy our time together.
That's stupid. So what? Because I said so, that's why. What, you again? Forget it. You'll never make it. Sit down and shut up. Knock it off. I know you're not that stupid. What's your excuse this time?
Forty Inviting Behaviors A relaxed posture Lending a book Smiling Listening carefully Patting a back Shaking hands Opening a door for someone Giving a friendly wink Sharing lunch together Being on time Sending a thoughtful note Bringing a gift Sharing an experience Accepting praise Giving wait-time Gazing warmly Yielding interest Noticing new clothes Learning names Offering refreshments Sending a valentine Hugging (where appropriate) Extending an apology (where required) Sharing a poem Picking up litter Planting a flower Waiting your turn Holding a door Extending a hand Congratulating someone Remembering important occasions Sharing a sandwich Using a napkin Offering someone a chair Bringing flowers Scratching someone's back Expressing regret Waving with both hands Giving a thumbs-up sign Forty Disinviting Behaviors Giving a thumbs-down sign Interrupting Looking at your watch Yawning in someone's face Shaking your finger at someone Scowling and frowning Slamming a door Using ridicule Turning you back on someone Cutting people short Making fun of a person Looking away from someone Leaving someone to answer the phone Hitting someone Being obscene Laughing at someone's misfortune Throwing paper on the ground Tapping a pencil (fidgeting) Chewing gum loudly Breaking a promise Forgetting an important date Gawking at an accident Using sarcasm Mimicking Forgetting a birthday Blowing your car horn Talking with your mouth full Playing with your nose Eating loudly Showing lack of concern Sneering Being late Staring at someone Littering Shoving ahead Stamping your foot Telling a lie Dumping ashtrays in the street Insulting a person Talking during a movie
Overlooking a faux pas
Forty Inviting Environments Fresh Paint Pleasant smells Living plant Attractive, up-to-date bulletin boards Soft lighting Big and soft pillows Lots of books Fresh air Fireplace Comfortable furniture Rocking chair Flowers on the desk Open doors Candy jar with candy Soft music Attractive pictures Comfortable temperature A cup of coffee, tea or juice Porch light at night Porch swing Birthday cake Fresh towels Well-tended park Books and magazines Stuffed animals Sunny room Game board Thick carpet This morning's paper Holiday tree Matching colors Birthday card Positive worded signs Blue jeans and cotton shirts Bright hallways Clean aromas Brightly lit parking lot Clean windows Clear floors Old pick-up truck Forty Disinviting Environments Dark corridors Bad smells Dingy colors Full trash cans Hard lighting Insects (flies, roaches) Excessive noise Smoke-filled room Bare walls Leftover food Dirty coffee cups Full ashtrays Bare lightbulb Stack of out-of-date materials Fluorescent lights that buzz Dark parking lots A full pencil sharpener Dead plant Long lines Dingy curtains Burned-out lightbulb Sidewalks going where people don't Opaque windows Cold room Lukewarm coffee Artificial plants and flowers Cigarette butts on a plate Sink full of dirty dishes Exhaust fumes Straight rows Empty mail box Dirty fingerprints Peeling paint and plaster Nothing to read Dusty, cobwebby shelves Stuffy room Sticky floors Broken windows Signs with letters missing Spray-painted graffiti
Forty Inviting Signs Please Use Sidewalks Welcome Visitor Parking Please Leave Message Forty Disinviting Signs Office Closed Do Not Disturb Keep off Grass To Trespassing
Open, Come in No Appointment Necessary Please Use Other Door Thank You for Not Smoking Come Back Soon Open House We're Glad You're Here Handicapped Parking Sorry I Missed You, Please Come Back Visitors Welcome Happy Hour Please Put Litter Here Come As You Are Open to the Public Rest Area Take Me Clean Restrooms Help Keep Hawaii Beautiful Library Have Lunch with Us Students Welcome Back Please Excuse the Inconvience Good Day Happy Holidays No Waiting You're Here Please Touch Come on In Pardon Our Dust Ample Parking in the Rear May We Help You? Be Back at ___ Please Watch Your Step Help Us Conserve Energy Directory Assistance Welcome to Hawaii (or HCC)
No Talking No Running in Halls No Admission without Pass Visitors Must Report to No Smoking No Admittance Be Seated Keep Out Do Not Enter No Deposit, No Return Tow Away Zone By Appointment Only Out of Order No Children Allowed Closed to the Public Private Beach No Checks Cashed No Spitting on Sidewalk Members Only We Do Not Give Change Take a Number and Wait Shop Lifters Will Be Prosecuted: Means You! Keep This Door Shut! Not for Public Use Out to Lunch You Broke It, You Bought It Books Are for Sale Only Government Property - No Admittance Do Not Remove under Penalty of Law Restrooms for Customers Only Parking for Officials Only No Shirt, No Service No Facilities For Faculty Use Only Beware of the Dog
101 THINGS YOU CAN DO THE FIRST THREE WEEKS OF CLASS
By Joyce T. Povlacs Teaching and Learning Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Introduction Beginnings are important. Whether the class is a large introductory course for freshmen or an advanced course in the major field, it makes good sense to start the semester off well. Students will decide very early - some say the first day of class whether they will like the course, its contents, the teacher, and their fellow students. The following list of "101 Things You Can Do..." is offered in the spirit of starting off right. It is a catalog of suggestions for college teachers who are looking for a fresh way of creating the best possible environment for learning. Not just the first day, but the first three weeks of a course are especially important, studies say, in retaining capable students. Even if the syllabus is printed and lecture notes are ready to go in August, most college teachers can usually make adjustments in teaching methods as the course unfolds and the characteristics of their students become known. These suggestions have been gathered from UNL professors and from college teachers elsewhere. The rationale for these methods is based on the following needs: 1) to help students make the transition from high school and summer or holiday activities to learning in college; 2) to direct students' attention to the immediate situation for learning - the hour in the classroom: 3) to spark intellectual curiosity - to challenge students; 4) to support beginners and neophytes in the process of learning in the discipline; S) to encourage the students' active involvement in learning; and 6) to build a sense of community in the classroom. Ideas For the First Three Weeks Here, then, are some ideas for college teachers for use in their courses as they begin a new semester. Helping Students Make Transitions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Hit the ground running on the first day of class with substantial content. Take attendance: roll call, clipboard, sign in, seating chart. Introduce teaching assistants by slide, short presentation, or self-introduction. Hand out an informative, artistic, and user-friendly syllabus. Give an assignment on the first day to be collected at the next meeting. Start laboratory experiments and other exercises the first time lab meets. Call attention (written and oral) to what makes good lab practice: completing work to be done, procedures, equipment, clean up, maintenance, safety, conservation of supplies, full use of lab time.
8. Administer a learning style inventory to help students find out about themselves. 9. Direct students to the Learning Skills Center for help on basic skills. 10. Tell students how much time they will need to study for this course. 11. Hand out supplemental study aids: library use, study tips, supplemental readings and exercises. 12. Explain how to study for kind of tests you give. 13. Put in writing a limited number of ground rules regarding absence, late work, testing procedures, grading, and general decorum, and maintain these. 14. Announce office hours frequently and hold them without fail. 15. Show students how to handle learning in large classes and impersonal situations. 16. Give sample test questions. 17. Give sample test question answers. 18. Explain the difference between legitimate collaboration and academic dishonesty; be clear when collaboration is wanted and when it is forbidden. 19. Seek out a different student each day and get to know something about him or her. 20. Ask students to write about what important things are currently going on in their lives. 21. Find out about students' jobs; if they are working, how many hours a week, and what kinds of jobs they hold. Directing Students' Attention 22. Greet students at the door when they enter the classroom. 23. Start the class on time. 24. Make a grand stage entrance to hush a large class and gain attention. 25. Give a pre-test on the day's topic. 26. Start the lecture with a puzzle, question, paradox, picture, or cartoon on slide or transparency to focus on the day's topic. 27. Elicit student questions and concerns at the beginning of the class and list these on the chalkboard to be answered during the hour. 28. Have students write down what they think the important issues or key points of the day's lecture will be. 29. Ask the person who is reading the student newspaper what is in the news today. Challenging Students 30. Have students write out their expectations for the course and their own goals for learning. 31. Use variety in methods of presentation every class meeting. 32. Stage a figurative "coffee break" about twenty minutes into the hour; tell an anecdote, invite students to put down pens and pencils, refer to a current event, shift media.
33. Incorporate community resources: plays, concerts, the State Fair. government agencies. businesses, the outdoors. 34. Show a film in a novel way: stop it for discussion, show a few frames only, anticipate ending, hand out a viewing or critique sheet, play and replay parts. 35. Share your philosophy of teaching with your students. 36. Form a student panel to present alternative views of the same concept. 37. Stage a change-your-mind debate. with students moving to different parts of the classroom to signal change in opinion during the discussion. 38. Conduct a "living" demographic survey by having students move to different parts of the classroom: size of high school. rural vs. urban. consumer preferences... 39. Tell about your current research interests and how you got there from your own beginnings in the discipline. 40. Conduct a role-play to make a point or to lay out issues. 41. Let your students assume the role of a professional in the discipline: philosopher, literary critic, biologist. agronomist. political scientist. engineer. 42. Conduct idea-generating or brainstorming sessions to expand horizons. 43. Give students two passages of material containing alternative views to compare and contrast. 44. Distribute a list of the unsolved problems. dilemmas. or great questions in your discipline and invite students to claim one as their own to investigate. 45. Ask students what books they've read recently. 46. Ask what is going on in the state legislature on this subject which may affect their future. 47. Let your students see the enthusiasm you have for your subject and your love of learning. 48. Take students with you to hear guest speakers or special programs on campus. 49. Plan "scholar-gypsy" lesson or unit which shows students the excitement of discovery in your discipline. Providing Support 50. Collect students' current telephone numbers and addresses and let them know that you may need to reach them. 51. Check out absentees. Call or write a personal note. 52. Diagnose the students' prerequisites learning by questionnaire or pre-test ant give them the feedback as soon as possible. 53. Hand out study questions or study guides. 54. Be redundant. Students should hear, read. or see key material at least three times. 55. Allow students to demonstrate progress in learning: summary quiz over the day's work. a written reaction to the day's material. 56. Use non-graded feedback to let students know how they are doing: post answers to ungraded quizzes and problem sets, exercises in class, oral feedback. 57. Reward behavior you want: praise, stars, honor roll, personal note.
58. Use a light touch: smile, tell a good joke, break test anxiety with a sympathetic comment. 59. Organize. Give visible structure by posting the day's "menu" on chalk- board or overhead. 60. Use multiple media: overhead, slides, film, videotape, audio tape, models, sample material. 61. Use multiple examples, in multiple media. to illustrate key points and . important concepts. 62. Make appointments with all students (individually or in small groups). 63. Hand out wallet-sized telephone cards with all important telephone numbers listed: office department, resource centers, teaching assistant, lab. 64. Print all important course dates on a card that can be handed out and taped to a mirror. 65. Eavesdrop on students before or after class and join their conversation about course topics. 66. Maintain an open lab gradebook. with grades kept current. during lab time so that students can check their progress. 67. Check to see if any students are having problems with any academic or campus matters and direct those who are to appropriate offices or resources. 68. Tell students what they need to do to receive an "A" in your course. 69. Stop the work to find out what your students are thinking feeling and doing in their everyday lives. Encouraging Active Learning 70. Have students write something. 71. Have students keep three-week-three-times-a-week journals in which they comment. ask questions. and answer questions about course topics. 72. Invite students to critique each other's essays or short answer on tests for readability or content. 73. Invite students to ask questions and wait for the response. 74. Probe student responses to questions ant wait for the response. 75. Put students into pairs or "learning cells" to quiz each other over material for the day. 76. Give students an opportunity to voice opinions about the subject matter. 77. Have students apply subject matter to solve real problems. 78. Give students red, yellow, and green cards (mate of posterboard) and periodically call for a vote on an issue by asking for a simultaneous show of cards. 79. Roam the aisles of a large classroom and carry on running conversations with students as they work on course problems (a portable microphone helps). 80. Ask a question directed to one student and wait for an answer. 81. Place a suggestion box in the rear of the room and encourage students to make written comments every time the class meets. 82. Do oral show of-hands multiple choice tests for summary review and instant feedback.
83. Use task groups to accomplish specific objectives. 84. Grade quizzes and exercises in class as a learning tool. 85. Give students plenty of opportunity for practice before a major test. 86. Give a test early in the semester and return it graded in the next class meeting. 87. Have students write questions on index cards to be collected and answered the next class period. 88. Make collaborate assignments for several students to work on together. 89. Assign written paraphrases and summaries of difficult reading. 90. Give students a take-home problem relating to the days lecture. 91. Encourage students to bring current news items to class which relate to the subject matter and post these on a bulletin board nearby. Building Community 92. Learn names. Everyone makes an effort to learn at least a few names. 93. Set up a buddy system so students can contact each other about assignments and coursework. 94. Find out about your students via questions on an index card. 95. Take pictures of students (snapshots in small groups, mug shots) and post in classroom, office, or lab. 96. Arrange helping trios of students to assist each other in learning and growing. 97. Form small groups for getting acquainted; mix and form new groups several times. 98. Assign a team project early in the semester and provide time to assemble the team. 99. Help students form study groups to operate outside the classroom. 100.Solicit suggestions from students for outside resources and guest speakers on course topics. Feedback on Teaching 101.Gather student feedback in the first three weeks of the semester to improve teaching and learning.
BREAK THE ICE
The first day of class is usually spent in part by getting acquainted and establishing goals. Icebreakers are techniques used at the first session to reduce tension and anxiety, and also to immediately involve the class in the course. Use an icebreaker because you want to, not as a time filler or because teaching guides say one should be used. Listed below are several examples of icebreakers.
INTRODUCE MYSELF. Participants introduce themselves and tell why they are there. Variations: Participants tell where they first heard about the class, how they became interested in the subject, their occupations, home town, favorite television program, or the best book they have read in the last year. INTRODUCE ANOTHER. Divide the class into pairs. Each person talks about him/herself to the other, sometimes with specific instructions to share a certain piece of information. For example, "The one thing I am particularly proud of is..." After five minutes, the participants introduce the other person to the rest of the class. CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS. Have students write down one or two adjectives describing themselves. Put these on a stick-on badge. Have class members find someone with similar or opposite adjectives and talk for five minutes with the other person. I'VE DONE SOMETHING YOU HAVEN'T DONE. Have each person introduce themselves and then state something they have done that they think no one else in the class has done. If someone else has also done it, the student must state something else until he/she finds something that no one else has done. FIND SOMEONE. Each person writes on a blank index card one to three statements, such as favorite color, interest, hobby, or vacations. Pass out cards so everyone gets someone else's card. Have that person find the person with their card and introduce themselves. FAMOUS PERSON. People write a famous name on a piece of paper and pin it on someone else's back. Person tries to guess what name is pinned on his/her by asking others around the room yes or no questions. Variation: Use famous place instead of famous person. MY NAME. People introduce themselves and tell what they know about why they have their name (their mother wanted to name me after her great aunt Helen who once climbed Pike's Peak in high heels, etc.). It could be the first, middle or nickname. HOW DO YOU FEEL? Ask the students to write down words or phrases that describe their feelings on the first day of class. List the responses on the blackboard. Then ask them to write down what they think you as the teacher are feeling this first day of class. List them on the blackboard in a second column and note the parallels. Briefly comment on your feelings and then discuss the joint student/teacher responsibilities for learning in the course. COMMON GROUND. This works best for small groups or for each small group sitting together as a team (4-6 learners). Give the group a specific time (perhaps 5 14
minutes) to write a list of everything they all have in common. Tell them to avoid the obvious ("we're all taking this course"). When time is up, ask each group how many items they have listed. For fun, ask them to announce some of the most interesting items. ME TOO. This also works best for small groups or foe each small group sitting together as a team (4-6 learners). Everyone in the group gest 10 pennies/toothpicks/scrap of papers, etc. The first student states something he/she has done (e.g. water skiing). Everyone else who has done the same thing admits it and puts one penny in the middle of the table. Then the second person states something (e.g. I have eaten frogs' legs). Everyone who has done it puts another penny in the center. Continue until someone has run out of pennies.
These are just a few of the hundreds of icebreakers. Be creative and design your own variations. Don't be afraid to experiment and try different approaches, and above all, have fun and start that most important first day of class on the right foot!
Index of Icebreakers, Games, and Activities
Icebreakers by group size
• • • •
Small group Games for 2-5 people Medium group Games for 5-10 people Large group Games for 10-30 people Extra Large group Games for 30 or more people
Icebreakers by category
Active Action packed icebreakers that might cause you to break a sweat! Get-to-know-you Icebreakers that help people get to know each other. Team building Activities to build teamwork and unity.
Icebreakers by name
• • • •
• • • •
Bigger and Better The classic teambuilding game of trading and upgrading - try to get the biggest and best item to win! Candy Introductions A fun game that uses multicolored candy to help people get to know each other. Defend the Egg A teambuilding activity that asks teams to protect a fragile egg by building a protective stucture out of simple supplies. Did You Know? Bingo An interactive game that helps people discover interesting facts about other people. Fabulous Flags Represent yourself by designing your own flag! Fear in a Hat A teambuilding activity that asks people to anonymously share their fears and to place them into a hat. Four Corners A get-to-know-you game involving the four corners of a room. Icebreaker Questions A list of simple questions that are very useful for breaking the ice. King Elephant A silly action game that involves hand motions and acting as animals. Lost on a Deserted Island If you were stranded on a island, what items would you take with you? A get-toknow-you game. Never Have I Ever A game to see who has and hasn’t had various experiences! Personal Trivia Baseball A fun trivia game that combines baseball with a way to learn interesting facts about people. Photo Scavenger Hunt An active teambuilding game that sends teams off to take photos of interesting things in a scavenger hunt! React and Act Game A fast-paced game of improv acting! Sardines The classic game of reverse hide-and-go-seek. Sorts and Mingle A fun way to see the similarities and differences people have. String Game An icebreaker that makes use of string or yarn to help people introduce themselves.
Superlative Game The fun game of superlatives! Telephone Charades A hilarious twist on the classic game of telephone, involving charades and acting down the line! Trust Walk Teambuilding Activity The classic teambuilding activity that requires trust and reliance on teammates. Two Truths and a Lie As people introduce themselves, figure out which statement is true and which one is a lie! Unique and Shared An icebreaker that helps people see their commonalities and unique characteristics compared with others. Who Done It? A game in which you try to identity who did it!
Share This Introduction It's the first day of a new semester. In addition to the enthusiasm and optimism inherent in a new beginnings, we as teachers also must confront a humbling task: how to learn the names and faces of the 20 to 40 unfamiliar students expectantly sitting before us. And we must learn them quickly! In teaching, as in so many other fields, first impressions count for much. Before becoming teachers, all of us were students; we learned, if only subconsciously, that teachers who were slow in learning the names of their students tended to be uninspired and uninspiring. Although we certainly don't want our students to come to that harsh prejudgment of us, we are only human. Almost all of us find it difficult to put together names with the faces of so many new people in short order. The only individuals who seem to succeed, apart from professional memory trainers and sales representatives, are politicians. Actually, there is a technique that can reliably be used to associate the names and faces of at least 75% of a typical first day class size of 20-40 new students. Even better, skillful use (i.e., the right amount of showmanship) of this technique can leave the impression that you have gotten to know almost all the students' names and faces by the start of the second class meeting. Step 1 Before coming to class, read the class roster several times. Focus on the last names and honorifics (Mr./Ms.). Memorize as many of them as you can.
By familiarizing ourselves with the names beforehand, we set up a kind of cognitive dissonance: If we know there is a Jones in the class, them we can concentrate on looking for Jones and remembering what he or she looks like. Under this procedure, paradoxically, students with unusual names become easier to remember. At this point there is no need to focus on the first, or given names. That just increases memory burden without yielding initial benefits. Step 2 Start the class by introducing yourself and describing your background and expectations for the course. Conclude by saying that you would like to learn more about them, but there isn't time for everyone to be as longwinded as you've been. Hand out a "Student Expectations Survey" that asks for a name,address, and phone number(s), and includes an open-ended essay question about backgrounds and expectations. Allow students at least 15 minutes of writing time. While the students are busy writing, take the opportunity to study their faces, clothing styles, posture, haircuts - anything, in short, that you can use to personalize the individual student. This visual information also sets up a cognitive dissonance; you'll certainly want to learn the name of the punk rocker with the purple hair.
The writing exercise is not only a chance to study the physiognomy of your students, but is also a way to take attendance and gauging the overall intellectual potential and interests of your new class.
Step 3 In addition to absorbing the "tableau" of visual information presented by individual students, set up a mnemonic position framework. For example, in a traditional classroom layout, call the first row on your left "A", the second row, "B" and so on. Similarly, call the first student in row"A", 1; the second, 2, etc. Modify this positional framework to fit various possible seating arrangements. This framework is the heart of the techniques presented. It relies on a curious fact of student sociobiology: students almost invariably return to the same seat they occupied during the first class, or in reasonable proximity. For example, students who choose to sit in the back of the room on the first day will almost never voluntarily change their seats to the front, and vise versa. Students who seem to prefer quick access to the door will sooner die than sit over by the windows, and vice versa. Step 4 Collect the student papers. Then, starting with position "A1," ask the students to introduce themselves and say a few words about themselves and their expectations for the course.
Again, this step, like the preceding ones, is not very different from ordinary classroom practice and sound group leadership. But it does set up the next step. Step 5 While listening as carefully as possible to what student "A1" is saying, find the name on the class roster and code "A1" next to it. (Obviously, if the student is not on the roster, write in the name and the code.) If you have memorized or nearly memorized the set of names, and have carefully studied the faces and appearances of your students, then the positional code will serve as the link or index between names and faces! At first glance, Step 5 appears to be the result of cross-pollinating cognitive psychology with an electronic spreadsheet, like LOTUS 1-2-3. Despite the resemblance, it isn't. You might be surprised to learn that the technique described above is virtually identical to the method used by ancient orators like Cicero to deliver complex orations without reading them to their audiences. (For more information on the techniques, consult any scholarly work on ancient oratory, particularly Frances Yates.) Step 6 As soon as you can after class, read the "Student Expectations Surveys," covering up the names of the student. Attempt to remember the name, based on your recollections of what students said in class about themselves. Refer to your class roster and position-code the "Student Expectations Survey" so that you can "triangulate" if necessary. This step provides additional reinforcement of the links between names, faces and places. Step 7 Before the second class meeting, review the surnames and honorifics of the students on the class roster. Reread the "Survey" and attempt to recollect names, faces and places. By this point, the majority of the names, faces and places should be almost committed to memory, and if during the second class you don't mind using the roster with positional codes as a kind of crib sheet -- well, you can make it seem as thought you know more names and faces that you really do. In fact, with the right amount of showmanship, you can appear to be a close relative of the "Amazing Kreskin." CONCLUSIONS
Make no mistake: this technique does require a certain amount of work. Like anything else, practice makes it easier and easier to apply. Bit is it worth the effort? There is no doubt, in my mind at least, that "the pain is worth the gain." In my own career as a student, I remember that my best teachers always seemed to take some extra effort to learn (and use) students' names as quickly as possible. The worst (i.e., graduate assistants in large undergraduate lecture courses) never bothered. Teachers cannot claim to be concerned about how well their students learn, if they themselves do not try as hard as they can to show they care about one of the most important possessions anyone can have in a mass civilization: a face and a name
MAGICALLY "LEARN" STUDENTS' NAMES IN MINUTES
By Doug Madden Honolulu Community College. Printed with permission, August 26, 1999.
Years ago when I was an undergraduate student at the University of Miami, I had a speech teacher who amazed me, as well as I'm sure the entire class, with his extraordinary recall and ability to memorize things almost instantly. I think most of my impression was based on his having "learned" the names of all 25 or so students in just a few minutes. Much more recently, though, when I took a non-credit class in magic tricks, I realized he had probably fooled everyone in the class. Remembering how he demonstrated his purported skill, I now think he used a simple old trick known as "pushing a card," a magic trick usually performed with playing cards. What the instructor did was have everyone print his or her name, major, home city and state, and special personal interest (or something like these things) on a 3x5 card. He then collected the cards row by row, laid them out in order on his desk, took just a couple of minutes to "appear" to be connecting the information on the cards to the students' faces or something, then neatly gathered the cards together by row, each row into a small pile. He then placed the piles upside down one on top of another so that the last row was on the bottom of the stack and the first row was on the top. One exception: I don't actually remember him having done this, but I'd guess he looked especially hard at the card of the first person in the first row and made sure that that card ended up out of place on the bottom of the stack. He then proceeded to recall the names supposedly from memory. In doing so he essentially introduced the students one by one. From having looked at the first person's card before he placed it at the bottom of the stack, he was able to correctly introduce the first person. He then turned over the top card of the stack, looked at it, and confirmed that he'd been correct. Remember that he'd previously placed the card of the first person on the bottom of the stack, so he was really looking at the card of the second person. When he went on to the second person, of course he knew the person's name because he'd just looked at that person's card (in pretending to be confirming the first person's
name). He went through the entire class like this, always one card ahead of the one he was pretending to be reading to confirm a name. Occasionally he'd pretend to have a little difficulty, but in the end he always came up with the correct name. Just as amazing (so I thought at the time) was his ability to "recall" where a person was from, what a person's major was, etc. Interesting, huh? Would I recommend this first day activity to other instructors? Done as I THINK my own instructor did it years ago, I think it'd be a fairly clear case of misrepresentation, and I would not recommend that. But with probably a group of students I already knew and with a clear explanation at the end that it was really a trick, it could be fun -- and it might serve a good purpose. The objective ought to be a novel way of introducing students and could include opportunities for students to add to their introductions and respond to other student or instructor questions. When at the end it's revealed to be only a trick, it could also provide a light or humorous break in the normal tension of a first day. And of course the instructor ends up with the cards to use for other purposes later. Student interest in how the trick was done might also valuably promote first day involvement and interaction of students. The activity is offered here, however, only as a possibility or idea, not as a recommendation and probably not for everyone.
101 WAYS TO COPE WITH STRESS
Courtesy of the Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
1. Get up 15 minutes earlier 2. Prepare for the morning the night before 3. Avoid tight fitting clothes 4. Avoid relying on chemical aids 5. Set appointments ahead 6. Don't rely on your memory ... write it down 7. Practice preventive maintenance 8. Make duplicate keys 9. Say "no" more often 10. Set priorities in your life 11. Avoid negative people 12. Use time wisely 13. Simplify meal times 14. Always make copies of important papers 15. Anticipate your needs 16. Repair anything that doesn't work properly 17. Ask for help with the jobs you dislike 18. Break large tasks into bite size portions 19. Look at problems as challenges 20. Look at challenges differently 21. Unclutter your life 22. Smile 21
23. Be prepared for rain 24. Tickle a baby 25. Pet a friendly dog/cat 26. Don't know all the answers 27. Look for a silver lining 28. Say something nice to someone 29. Teach a kid to fly a kite 30. Walk in the rain 31. Schedule play time into every day 32. Take a bubble bath 33. Be aware of the decisions you make 34. Believe in yourself 35. Stop saying negative things to yourself 36. Visualize yourself winning 37. Develop your sense of humor 38. Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today 39. Have goals for yourself 40. Dance a jig 41. Say "hello" to a stranger 42. Ask a friend for a hug 43. Look up at the stars 44. Practice breathing slowly 45. Learn to whistle a tune 46. Read a poem 47. Listen to a symphony 48. Watch a ballet 49. Read a story curled up in bed 50. Do a brand new thing 51. Stop a bad habit 52. Buy yourself a flower 53. Take time to small the flowers 54. Find support from others 55. Ask someone to be your "vent-partner" 56. Do it today 57. Work at being cheerful and optimistic 58. Put safety first 59. Do everything in moderation 60. Pay attention to your appearance 61. Strive for Excellence NOT perfection 62. Stretch your limits a little each day 63. Look at a work of art 64. Hum a jingle 65. Maintain your weight 66. Plant a tree 67. Feed the birds 68. Practice grace under pressure
69. Stand up and stretch 70. Always have a plan "B" 71. Learn a new doodle 72. Memorize a joke 73. Be responsible for your feelings 74. Learn to meet your own needs 75. Become a better listener 76. Know your limitations and let others know them, too 77. Tell someone to have a good day in pig Latin 78. Throw a paper airplane 79. Exercise every day 80. Learn the words to a new song 81. Get to work early 82. Clean out one closet 83. Play patty cake with a toddler 84. Go on a picnic 85. Take a different route to work 86. Leave work early (with permission) 87. Put air freshener in your car 88. Watch a movie and eat popcorn 89. Write a note to a far away friend 90. Go to a ball game and scream 91. Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight 92. Recognize the importance of unconditional love 93. Remember that stress is an attitude 94. Keep a journal 95. Practice a monster smile 96. Remember you always have options 97. Have a support network of people, places and things 98. Quit trying to fix other people 99. Get enough sleep 100.Talk less and listen more 101.Freely praise other people BONUS: Relax, take each day at a time...you have the rest of your life to live!
MOTIVATING STUDENTS: 8 SIMPLE RULES FOR TEACHERS
By Lana Becker and Kent N. Schneider, East Tennessee State University firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Reprinted from The Teaching Professor by permission from Magna Publications, Inc., Madison, Wis. www.magnapubs.com. Subscriptions and submissions at firstname.lastname@example.org August/September 2004 Principles of Accounting has the reputation of being a "hard and boring" course. It is difficult to motivate students to invest the time and effort necessary to succeed in the course. To meet this challenge, we have assembled a list of eight simple rules for keeping students focused and motivated. These rules are not original, and they aren't just for those of us who teach accounting classes. Indeed, most of these time-honored suggestions apply to any course students find hard and boring, and we think that makes them broadly applicable. Rule 1: Emphasize the most critical concepts continuously. Reiterate these concepts in lectures and assignments throughout the course. Include questions relating to these critical subjects on every exam, thus rewarding students for learning, retaining, and, hopefully, applying this knowledge in a variety of contexts. Rule 2: Provide students with a "visual aid" when possible to explain abstract concepts. A significant proportion of today's students are visual learners. For these students, a simple diagram or flowchart truly can be more valuable than a thousand words in a text or a lecture. Rule 3: Rely on logic when applicable. Point out to students which information is merely "fact" that must be memorized and which course material is based upon "logic." Show students how to employ logical thinking to learn and retain new information. For example, in the double-entry bookkeeping system, "debits" equal "credits," and debit entries cause assets to increase. These are "facts" or features of the system; they are not based on logic. However, once the student accepts the system, logic can be used to operate within the system. Continuing the example, if debit entries increase assets, it is logical that credit entries will cause assets to decrease. Rule 4: Use in-class activities to reinforce newly presented material. After a new concept or subject has been presented via text reading, lecture, or class discussion, allow the students to put the concept into action by completing an in-class assignment. These assignments can be short, but they must be developed to ensure that the students understand the critical concepts underlying the new material. Typically, the most learning takes place when the students are permitted to work in small groups, to refer to their text and notes, and to ask questions of the instructor while completing the assignment. If these in-class assignments are part of the course grading scheme, class attendance also improves. 24
Rule 5: Help students create a "link" when teaching something new. If the student can "link" the new material to something already learned, the odds of learning the new material are greatly increased. Examples of possible links include: prior material learned in this course (e.g., the critical concepts described in Rule 1), material learned in prerequisite courses, and "real-life" experiences of the students outside the classroom. Rule 6: Recognize the importance of vocabulary in a course. Students often struggle with new vocabulary in many courses, especially introductory ones. To succeed in these courses, students must become comfortable with the new terminology. As subjects are presented, new and/or confusing terms should be identified and introduced to the students. Present "real-world" definitions and alternative terminology, in addition to textbook definitions. One way to help students assimilate the course vocabulary is to create a "living" glossary on the instructor's website where new terminology is added, explained, and illustrated throughout the course. Rule 7: Treat students with respect. Patronizing behavior may be expected in primary school teachers, and :drill sergeant" strategies may be effective in military book camps. However, most college student will not respond well to these techniques. Give students their dignity, and they will give you their best efforts. Rule 8: Hold students to a high standard. If students are not required to maintain a specified level of learning and performance, only the most highly motivated students will devote the time and effort necessary to learn. In contrast, maintaining high standards not only will motivate student learning, it will also be the source of student feelings of accomplishment when those standards are met. Each of these rules can help motivate even the most lethargic student, but Rule 7 and 8 are the most important. If students are not treated with respect and held to a high standard, scrupulously following the first six rules will have much less impact and might end up being an exercise in futility.
30 THINGS WE KNOW FOR SURE ABOUT ADULT LEARNING
By Ron and Susan Zemke Innovation Abstracts Vol VI, No 8, March 9, 1984
A variety of sources provides us with a body of fairly reliable knowledge about adult learning. This knowledge might be divided into three basic divisions: things we know about adult learners and their motivation, things we know about designing curriculum for adults, and things we know about working with adults in the classroom. Motivation to Learn
1. Adults seek out learning experiences in order to cope with specific lifechanging events--e.g., marriage, divorce, a new job, a promotion, being fired, retiring, losing a loved one, moving to a new city. 2. The more life change events an adult encounters, the more likely he or she is to seek out learning opportunities. Just as stress increases as life-change events accumulate, the motivation to cope with change through engagement in a learning experience increases. 3. The learning experiences adults seek out on their own are directly related - at least in their perception - to the life-change events that triggered the seeking. 4. Adults are generally willing to engage in learning experiences before, after, or even during the actual life change event. Once convinced that the change is a certainty, adults will engage in any learning that promises to help them cope with the transition. 5. Adults who are motivated to seek out a learning experience do so primarily because they have a use for the knowledge or skill being sought. Learning is a means to an end, not an end in itself. 6. Increasing or maintaining one's sense of self-esteem and pleasure are strong secondary motivators for engaging in learning experiences. Curriculum Design
1. Adult learners tend to be less interested in, and enthralled by, survey courses. They tend to prefer single concept, single-theory courses that focus heavily on the application of the concept to relevant problems. This tendency increases with age. 2. Adults need to be able to integrate new ideas with what they already know if they are going to keep - and use - the new information. 3. Information that conflicts sharply with what is already held to be true, and thus forces a re-evaluation of the old material, is integrated more slowly. 4. Information that has little "conceptual overlap" with what is already known is acquired slowly. 26
5. Fast-paced, complex or unusual learning tasks interfere with the learning of the concepts or data they are intended to teach or illustrate. 6. Adults tend to compensate for being slower in some psychomotor learning tasks by being more accurate and making fewer trial-and-error ventures. 7. Adults tend to take errors personally and are more likely to let them affect self-esteem. Therefore, they tend to apply tried-and-true solutions and take fewer risks. 8. The curriculum designer must know whether the concepts or ideas will be in concert or in conflict with the learner. Some instruction must be designed to effect a change in belief and value systems. 9. Programs need to be designed to accept viewpoints from people in different life stages and with different value "sets." 10. A concept needs to be "anchored" or explained from more than one value set and appeal to more than one developmental life stage. 11. Adults prefer self-directed and self-designed learning projects over grouplearning experiences led by a professional, they select more than one medium for learning, and they desire to control pace and start/stop time. 12. Nonhuman media such as books, programmed instruction and television have become popular with adults in recent years. 13. Regardless of media, straightforward how-to is the preferred content orientation. Adults cite a need for application and how-to information as the primary motivation for beginning a learning project. 14. Self-direction does not mean isolation. Studies of self-directed learning indicate that self-directed projects involve an average of 10 other people as resources, guides, encouragers and the like. But even for the self-professed, self-directed learner, lectures and short seminars get positive ratings, especially when these events give the learner face-to-face, one-to-one access to an expert. In the Classroom
1. The learning environment must be physically and psychologically comfortable; long lectures, periods of interminable sitting and the absence of practice opportunities rate high on the irritation scale. 2. Adults have something real to lose in a classroom situation. Self-esteem and ego are on the line when they are asked to risk trying a new behavior in front of peers and cohorts. Bad experiences in traditional education, feelings about authority and the preoccupation with events outside the classroom affect inclass experience. 3. Adults have expectations, and it is critical to take time early on to clarify and articulate all expectations before getting into content. The instructor can assume responsibility only for his or her own expectations, not for those of students. 4. Adults bring a great deal of life experience into the classroom, an invaluable
asset to be acknowledged, tapped and used. Adults can learn well -and much from dialogue with respected peers. 5. Instructors who have a tendency to hold forth rather than facilitate can hold that tendency in check--or compensate for it--by concentrating on the use of open-ended questions to draw out relevant student knowledge and experience. 6. New knowledge has to be integrated with previous knowledge; students must actively participate in the learning experience. The learner is dependent on the instructor for confirming feedback on skill practice; the instructor is dependent on the learner for feedback about curriculum and in-class performance. 7. The key to the instructor role is control. The instructor must balance the presentation of new material, debate and discussion, sharing of relevant student experiences, and the clock. Ironically, it seems that instructors are best able to establish control when they risk giving it up. When they shelve egos and stifle the tendency to be threatened by challenge to plans and methods, they gain the kind of facilitative control needed to effect adult learning. 8. The instructor has to protect minority opinion, keep disagreements civil and unheated, make connections between various opinions and ideas, and keep reminding the group of the variety of potential solutions to the problem. The instructor is less advocate than orchestrator. 9. Integration of new knowledge and skill requires transition time and focused effort on application. 10. Learning and teaching theories function better as resources than as a Rosetta stone. A skill-training task can draw much from the behavioral approach, for example, while personal growth-centered subjects seem to draw gainfully from humanistic concepts. An eclectic, rather than a single theory-based approach to developing strategies and procedures, is recommended for matching instruction to learning tasks. The next five years will eclipse the last fifty in terms of hard data production on adult learning. For the present, we must recognize that adults want their learning to be problem-oriented, personalized and accepting of their need for self-direction and personal responsibility.
MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS
from Psychology - The Search for Understanding by Janet A. Simons, Donald B. Irwin and Beverly A. Drinnien West Publishing Company, New York, 1987
Abraham Maslow developed a theory of personality that has influenced a number of different fields, including education. This wide influence is due in part to the high level of practicality of Maslow's theory. This theory accurately describes many realities of personal experiences. Many people find they can understand what Maslow says. They can recognize some features of their experience or behavior which is true and identifiable but which they have never put into words. Maslow is a humanistic psychologist. Humanists do not believe that human beings are pushed and pulled by mechanical forces, either of stimuli and reinforcements (behaviorism) or of unconscious instinctual impulses (psychoanalysis). Humanists focus upon potentials. They believe that humans strive for an upper level of capabilities. Humans seek the frontiers of creativity, the highest reaches of consciousness and wisdom. This has been labeled "fully functioning person", "healthy personality", or as Maslow calls this level, "self-actualizing person." Maslow has set up a hierarchic theory of needs. All of his basic needs are instinctoid, equivalent of instincts in animals. Humans start with a very weak disposition that is then fashioned fully as the person grows. If the environment is right, people will grow straight and beautiful, actualizing the potentials they have inherited. If the environment is not "right" (and mostly it is not) they will not grow tall and straight and beautiful. Maslow has set up a hierarchy of five levels of basic needs. Beyond these needs, higher levels of needs exist. These include needs for understanding, esthetic appreciation and purely spiritual needs. In the levels of the five basic needs, the person does not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and so on. Maslow's basic needs are as follows: Physiological Needs These are biological needs. They consist of needs for oxygen, food, water, and a relatively constant body temperature. They are the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the person's search for satisfaction. Safety Needs When all physiological needs are satisfied and are no longer controlling thoughts and behaviors, the needs for security can become active. Adults have little awareness of their security needs except in times of emergency or periods of disorganization in the social structure (such as widespread rioting). Children often display the signs of insecurity and the need to be safe.
Needs of Love, Affection and Belongingness When the needs for safety and for physiological well-being are satisfied, the next class of needs for love, affection and belongingness can emerge. Maslow states that people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. This involves both giving and receiving love, affection and the sense of belonging. Needs for Esteem When the first three classes of needs are satisfied, the needs for esteem can become dominant. These involve needs for both self-esteem and for the esteem a person gets from others. Humans have a need for a stable, firmly based, high level of self-respect, and respect from others. When these needs are satisfied, the person feels self-confident and valuable as a person in the world. When these needs are frustrated, the person feels inferior, weak, helpless and worthless. Needs for Self-Actualization When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualization activated. Maslow describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was "born to do." "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write." These needs make themselves felt in signs of restlessness. The person feels on edge, tense, lacking something, in short, restless. If a person is hungry, unsafe, not loved or accepted, or lacking self-esteem, it is very easy to know what the person is restless about. It is not always clear what a person wants when there is a need for self-actualization. The hierarchic theory is often represented as a pyramid, with the larger, lower levels representing the lower needs, and the upper point representing the need for selfactualization. Maslow believes that the only reason that people would not move well in direction of self-actualization is because of hindrances placed in their way by society. He states that education is one of these hindrances. He recommends ways education can switch from its usual person-stunting tactics to person-growing approaches. Maslow states that educators should respond to the potential an individual has for growing into a self-actualizing person of his/her own kind. Ten points that educators should address are listed: 1. We should teach people to be authentic, to be aware of their inner selves and to hear their inner-feeling voices. 2. We should teach people to transcend their cultural conditioning and become world citizens. 3. We should help people discover their vocation in life, their calling, fate or destiny. This is especially focused on finding the right career and the right mate. 4. We should teach people that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced in life, and if people are open to seeing the good and joyous in all kinds of situations, it makes life worth living. 5. We must accept the person as he or she is and help the person learn their inner nature. From real knowledge of aptitudes and limitations we can know what
to build upon, what potentials are really there. 6. We must see that the person's basic needs are satisfied. This includes safety, belongingness, and esteem needs. 7. We should refreshen consciousness, teaching the person to appreciate beauty and the other good things in nature and in living. 8. We should teach people that controls are good, and complete abandon is bad. It takes control to improve the quality of life in all areas. 9. We should teach people to transcend the trifling problems and grapple with the serious problems in life. These include the problems of injustice, of pain, suffering, and death. 10. We must teach people to be good choosers. They must be given practice in making good choices.
QUIZZES, TESTS, AND EXAMS
By Barbara Gross Davis, University of California, Berkeley. From Tools for Teaching, copyright by Jossey-Bass. For purchase or reprint information, contact Jossey-Bass. Reprinted here with permission, September 1, 1999.
Many teachers dislike preparing and grading exams, and most students dread taking them. Yet tests are powerful educational tools that serve at least four functions. First, tests help you evaluate students and assess whether they are learning what you are expecting them to learn. Second, well-designed tests serve to motivate and help students structure their academic efforts. Crooks (1988), McKeachie (1986), and Wergin (1988) report that students study in ways that reflect how they think they will be tested. If they expect an exam focused on facts, they will memorize details; if they expect a test that will require problem solving or integrating knowledge, they will work toward understanding and applying information. Third, tests can help you understand how successfully you are presenting the material. Finally, tests can reinforce learning by providing students with indicators of what topics or skills they have not yet mastered and should concentrate on. Despite these benefits, testing is also emotionally charged and anxiety producing. The following suggestions can enhance your ability to design tests that are effective in motivating, measuring, and reinforcing learning. A note on terminology: instructors often use the terms tests, exams, and even quizzes interchangeably. Test experts Jacobs and Chase (1992), however, make distinctions among them based on the scope of content covered and their weight or importance in calculating the final grade for the course. An examination is the most comprehensive form of testing, typically given at the end of the term (as a final) and one or two times during the semester (as midterms). A test is more limited in scope, focusing on particular aspects of the course material. A course might have three or four tests. A quiz is even more limited and usually is administered in fifteen minutes or less. Though these distinctions are useful, the terms test and exam will be used interchangeably throughout the rest of this section because the principles in planning, 31
constructing, and administering them are similar. General Strategies Spend adequate amounts of time developing your tests. As you prepare a test, think carefully about the learning outcomes you wish to measure, the type of items best suited to those outcomes, the range of difficulty of items, the length and time limits for the test, the format and layout of the exam, and your scoring procedures. Match your tests to the content you are teaching. Ideally, the tests you give will measure students' achievement of your educational goals for the course. Test items should be based on the content and skills that are most important for your students to learn. To keep track of how well your tests reflect your objectives, you can construct a grid, listing your course objectives along the side of the page and content areas along the top. For each test item, check off the objective and content it covers. (Sources: Ericksen, 1969; Jacobs and Chase, 1992; Svinicki and Woodward, 1982) Try to make your tests valid, reliable, and balanced. A test is valid if its results are appropriate and useful for making decisions about an aspect of students' achievement (Gronlund and Linn, 1990). Technically, validity refers to the appropriateness of the interpretation of the results and not to the test itself, though colloquially we speak about a test being valid. Validity is a matter of degree and considered in relation to specific use or interpretation (Gronlund and Linn, 1990). For example, the results of a writing test may have a high degree of validity for indicating the level of a student's composition skills, a moderate degree of validity for predicting success in later composition courses, and essentially no validity for predicting success in mathematics or physics. Validity can be difficult to determine. A practical approach is to focus on content validity, the extent to which the content of the test represents an adequate sampling of the knowledge and skills taught in the course. If you design the test to cover information in lectures and readings in proportion to their importance in the course, then the interpretations of test scores are likely to have greater validity An exam that consists of only a few difficult items, however, will not yield valid interpretations of what students know. A test is reliable if it accurately and consistently evaluates a student's performance. The purest measure of reliability would entail having a group of students take the same test twice and get the same scores (assuming that we could erase their memories of test items from the first administration). This is impractical, of course, but there are technical procedures for determining reliability. In general, ambiguous questions, unclear directions, and vague scoring criteria threaten reliability. Very short tests are also unlikely to be highly reliable. It is also important for a test to be balanced: to cover most of the main ideas and important concepts in proportion to the emphasis they received in class. If you are interested in learning more about psychometric concepts and the technical
properties of tests, here are some books you might review: Ebel, R. L., and Frisbie, D. A. Essentials of Educational Measurement. (5th ed.) Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1990. Gronlund, N. E., and Linn, R. Measurement and Evaluation in Teaching. (6th ed.) New York: Macmillan, 1990. Mehrens, W. A., and Lehmann, I. J. Measurement and Evaluation in Education and Psychology. (4th ed.) New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1991. Use a variety of testing methods. Research shows that students vary in their preferences for different formats, so using a variety of methods will help students do their best (Jacobs and Chase, 1992). Multiple-choice or shortanswer questions are appropriate for assessing students' mastery of details and specific knowledge, while essay questions assess comprehension, the ability to integrate and synthesize, and the ability to apply information to new situations. A single test can have several formats. Try to avoid introducing a new format on the final exam: if you have given all multiple-choice quizzes or midterms, don't ask students to write an all-essay final. (Sources: Jacobs and Chase, 1992; Lowman, 1984; McKeachie, 1986; Svinicki, 1987) Write questions that test skills other than recall. Research shows that most tests administered by faculty rely too heavily on students' recall of information (Milton, Pollio, and Eison, 1986). Bloom (1956) argues that it is important for tests to measure higher-learning as well. Fuhrmann and Grasha (1983, p. 170) have adapted Bloom's taxonomy for test development. Here is a condensation of their list: To measure knowledge (common terms, facts, principles, procedures), ask these kinds of questions: Define, Describe, Identify, Label, List, Match, Name, Outline, Reproduce, Select, State. Example: "List the steps involved in titration." To measure comprehension (understanding of facts and principles, interpretation of material), ask these kinds of questions: Convert, Defend, Distinguish, Estimate, Explain, Extend, Generalize, Give examples, Infer, Predict, Summarize. Example: "Summarize the basic tenets of deconstructionism." To measure application (solving problems, applying concepts and principles to new situations), ask these kinds of questions: Demonstrate, Modify, Operate, Prepare, Produce, Relate, Show, Solve, Use. Example: "Calculate the deflection of a beam under uniform loading." To measure analysis (recognition of unstated assumptions or logical fallacies, ability to distinguish between facts and inferences), ask these kinds of questions: Diagram, Differentiate, Distinguish, Illustrate, Infer, Point out, Relate, Select, Separate,
Subdivide. Example: "In the president's State of the Union Address, which statements are based on facts and which are based on assumptions?" To measure synthesis (integrate learning from different areas or solve problems by creative thinking), ask these kinds of questions: Categorize, Combine, Compile, Devise, Design, Explain, Generate, Organize, Plan, Rearrange, Reconstruct, Revise, Tell. Example: "How would you restructure the school day to reflect children's developmental needs?" To measure evaluation (judging and assessing), ask these kinds of questions: Appraise, Compare, Conclude, Contrast, Criticize, Describe, Discriminate, Explain, Justify, Interpret, Support. Example: "Why is Bach's Mass in B Minor acknowledged as a classic?" Many faculty members have found it difficult to apply this six-level taxonomy, and some educators have simplified and collapsed the taxonomy into three general levels (Crooks, 1988): The first category knowledge (recall or recognition of specific information). The second category combines comprehension and application. The third category is described as "problem solving," transferring existing knowledge and skills to new situations. If your course has graduate student instructors (GSIs), involve them in designing exams. At the least, ask your GSIs to read your draft of the exam and comment on it. Better still, involve them in creating the exam. Not only will they have useful suggestions, but their participation in designing an exam will help them grade the exam. Take precautions to avoid cheating. See "Preventing Academic Dishonesty" Types of Tests Multiple-choice tests. Multiple-choice items can be used to measure both simple knowledge and complex concepts. Since multiple-choice questions can be answered quickly, you can assess students' mastery of many topics on an hour exam. In addition, the items can be easily and reliably scored. Good multiple-choice questions are difficult to write-see "Multiple-Choice and Matching Tests" for guidance on how to develop and administer this type of test. True-false tests. Because random guessing will produce the correct answer half the time, true-false tests are less reliable than other types of exams. However, these items are appropriate for occasional use. Some faculty who use true-false questions add an "explain" column in which students write one or two sentences justifying their response. Matching tests. The matching format is an effective way to test students' recognition 34
of the relationships between words and definitions, events and dates, categories and examples, and so on. See "Multiple-Choice and Matching Tests" for suggestions about developing this type of test. Essay tests. Essay tests enable you to judge students' abilities to organize, integrate, interpret material, and express themselves in their own words. Research indicates that students study more efficiently for essay-type examinations than for selection (multiple-choice) tests: students preparing for essay tests focus on broad issues, general concepts, and interrelationships rather than on specific details, and this studying results in somewhat better student performance regardless of the type of exam they are given (McKeachie, 1986). Essay tests also give you an opportunity to comment on students' progress, the quality of their thinking, the depth of their understanding, and the difficulties they may be having. However, because essay tests pose only a few questions, their content validity may be low. In addition, the reliability of essay tests is compromised by subjectivity or inconsistencies in grading. For specific advice, see "Short-Answer and Essay Tests." (Sources: Ericksen, 1969, McKeachie, 1986) A variation of an essay test asks students to correct mock answers. One faculty member prepares a test that requires students to correct, expand, or refute mock essays. Two weeks before the exam date, he distributes ten to twelve essay questions, which he discusses with students in class. For the actual exam, he selects four of the questions and prepares well-written but intellectually flawed answers for the students to edit, correct, expand, and refute. The mock essays contain common misunderstandings, correct but incomplete responses, or absurd notions; in some cases the answer has only one or two flaws. He reports that students seem to enjoy this type of test more than traditional examinations. Short-answer tests. Depending on your objectives, short-answer questions can call for one or two sentences or a long paragraph. Short-answer tests are easier to write, though they take longer to score, than multiple-choice tests. They also give you some opportunity to see how well students can express their thoughts, though they are not as useful as longer essay responses for this purpose. See "Short-Answer and Essay Tests" for detailed guidelines. Problem sets. In courses in mathematics and the sciences, your tests can include problem sets. As a rule of thumb, allow students ten minutes to solve a problem you can do in two minutes. See "Homework: Problem Sets" for advice on creating and grading problem sets. Oral exams. Though common at the graduate level, oral exams are rarely used for undergraduates except in foreign language classes. In other classes they are usually time-consuming, too anxiety provoking for students, and difficult to score unless the instructor tape-records the answers. However, a math professor has experimented
with individual thirty-minute oral tests in a small seminar class. Students receive the questions in advance and are allowed to drop one of their choosing. During the oral exam, the professor probes students' level of understanding of the theory and principles behind the theorems. He reports that about eight students per day can be tested. Performance tests. Performance tests ask students to demonstrate proficiency in conducting an experiment, executing a series of steps in a reasonable amount of time, following instructions, creating drawings, manipulating materials or equipment, or reacting to real or simulated situations. Performance tests can be administered individually or in groups. They are seldom used in colleges and universities because they are logistically difficult to set up, hard to score, and the content of most courses does not necessarily lend itself to this type of testing. However, performance tests can be useful in classes that require students to demonstrate their skills (for example, health fields, the sciences, education). If you use performance tests, Anderson (1987, p. 43) recommends that you do the following (I have slightly modified her list):
Specify the criteria to be used for rating or scoring (for example, the level of accuracy in performing the steps in sequence or completing the task within a specified time limit). State the problem so that students know exactly what they are supposed to do (if possible, conditions of a performance test should mirror a real-life situation). Give students a chance to perform the task more than once or to perform several task samples.
"Create-a-game" exams. For one midterm, ask students to create either a board game, word game, or trivia game that covers the range of information relevant to your course. Students must include the rules, game board, game pieces, and whatever else is needed to play. For example, students in a history of psychology class created "Freud's Inner Circle," in which students move tokens such as small cigars and toilet seats around a board each time they answer a question correctly, and "Psychogories," a card game in which players select and discard cards until they have a full hand of theoretically compatible psychological theories, beliefs, or assumptions. (Source: Berrenberg and Prosser, 1991) Alternative Testing Modes Take-home tests. Take-home tests allow students to work at their own pace with access to books and materials. Take-home tests also permit longer and more involved questions, without sacrificing valuable class time for exams. Problem sets, short answers, and essays are the most appropriate kinds of take-home exams. Be wary, though, of designing a take-home exam that is too difficult or an exam that does not include limits on the number of words or time spent (Jedrey, 1984). Also, be sure to give students explicit instructions on what they can and cannot do: for example, are 36
they allowed to talk to other students about their answers? A variation of a take-home test is to give the topics in advance but ask the students to write their answers in class. Some faculty hand out ten or twelve questions the week before an exam and announce that three of those questions will appear on the exam. Open-book tests. Open-book tests simulate the situations professionals face every day, when they use resources to solve problems, prepare reports, or write memos. Open-book tests tend to be inappropriate in introductory courses in which facts must be learned or skills thoroughly mastered if the student is to progress to more complicated concepts and techniques in advanced courses. On an open-book test, students who are lacking basic knowledge may waste too much of their time consulting their references rather than writing. Open-book tests appear to reduce stress (Boniface, 1985; Liska and Simonson, 1991), but research shows that students do not necessarily perform significantly better on open-book tests (Clift and Imrie, 1981; Crooks, 1988). Further, open-book tests seem to reduce students' motivation to study. A compromise between open- and closed-book testing is to let students bring an index card or one page of notes to the exam or to distribute appropriate reference material such as equations or formulas as part of the test. Group exams. Some faculty have successfully experimented with group exams, either in class or as take-home projects. Faculty report that groups outperform individuals and that students respond positively to group exams (Geiger, 1991; Hendrickson, 1990; Keyworth, 1989; Toppins 1989). For example, for a fifty-minute in-class exam, use a multiple-choice test of about twenty to twenty-five items. For the first test, the groups can be randomly divided. Groups of three to five students seem to work best. For subsequent tests, you may want to assign students to groups in ways that minimize differences between group scores and balance talkative and quiet students. Or you might want to group students who are performing at or near the same level (based on students' performance on individual tests). Some faculty have students complete the test individually before meeting as a group. Others just let the groups discuss the test, item by item. In the first case, if the group score is higher than the individual score of any member, bonus points are added to each individual's score. In the second case, each student receives the score of the group. Faculty who use group exams offer the following tips:
• • • •
Ask students to discuss each question fully and weigh the merits of each answer rather than simply vote on an answer. If you assign problems, have each student work a problem and then compare results. If you want students to take the exam individually first, consider devoting two class periods to tests; one for individual work and the other for group. Show students the distribution of their scores as individuals and as groups; in most cases group scores will be higher than any single individual score.
A variation of this idea is to have students first work on an exam in groups outside of class. Students then complete the exam individually during class time and receive
their own score. Some portion of the test items are derived from the group exam. The rest are new questions. Or let students know in advance you will be asking them to justify a few of their responses; this will keep students from blithely relying on their work group for all the answers. (Sources: Geiger, 1991; Hendrickson, 1990; Keyworth, 1989; Murray, 1990; Toppins, 1989) Paired testing. For paired exams, pairs of students work on a single essay exam, and the two students turn in one paper. Some students may be reluctant to share a grade, but good students will most likely earn the same grade they would have working alone. Pairs can be self-selected or assigned. For example, pairing a student who is doing well in the course with one not doing well allows for some peer teaching. A variation is to have students work in teams but submit individual answer sheets. (Source: Murray, 1990) Portfolios. A portfolio is not a specific test but rather a cumulative collection of a student's work. Students decide what examples to include that characterize their growth and accomplishment over the term. While most common in composition classes, portfolios are beginning to be used in other disciplines to provide a fuller picture of students' achievements. A student's portfolio might include sample papers (first drafts and revisions), journal entries, essay exams, and other work representative of the student's progress. You can assign portfolios a letter grade or a pass/not pass. If you do grade portfolios, you will need to establish clear criteria. (Source: Jacobs and Chase, 1992) Construction of Effective Exams Prepare new exams each time you teach a course. Though it is timeconsuming to develop tests, a past exam may not reflect changes in how you have presented the material or which topics you have emphasized in the course. If you do write a new exam, you can make copies of the old exam available to students. Make up test items throughout the term. Don't wait until a week or so before the exam. One way to make sure the exam reflects the topics emphasized in the course is to write test questions at the end of each class session and place them on index cards or computer files for later sorting. Software that allows you to create test banks of items and generate exams from the pool is now available. Ask students to submit test questions. Faculty who use this technique limit the number of items a student can submit and receive credit for. Here is an example (adapted from Buchanan and Rogers, 1990, p. 72): You can submit up to two questions per exam. Each question must be typed or legibly printed on a separate 5" x 8" card. The correct answer and the source (that is, page of the text, date of lecture, and so on) must be provided for each question. Questions can be of the short-answer, multiple-choice, or essay type. 38
Students receive a few points of additional credit for each question they submit that is judged appropriate. Not all students will take advantage of this opportunity. You can select or adapt student's test items for the exam. If you have a large lecture class, tell your students that you might not review all items but will draw randomly from the pool until you have enough questions for the exam. (Sources: Buchanan and Rogers, 1990; Fuhrmann and Grasha, 1983) Cull items from colleagues' exams. Ask colleagues at other institutions for copies of their exams. Be careful, though, about using items from tests given by colleagues on your own campus. Some of your students may have previously seen those tests. Consider making your tests cumulative. Cumulative tests require students to review material they have already studied, thus reinforcing what they have learned. Cumulative tests also give students a chance to integrate and synthesize course content. (Sources: Crooks, 1988; Jacobs and Chase, 1992; Svinicki, 1987) Prepare clear instructions. Test your instructions by asking a colleague (or one of your graduate student instructors) to read them. Include a few words of advice and encouragement on the exam. For example, give students advice on how much time to spend on each section or offer a hint at the beginning of an essay question or wish students good luck. (Source: "Exams: Alternative Ideas and Approaches," 1989) Put some easy items first. Place several questions all your students can answer near the beginning of the exam. Answering easier questions helps students overcome their nervousness and may help them feel confident that they can succeed on the exam. You can also use the first few questions to identify students in serious academic difficulty. (Source: Savitz, 1985) Challenge your best students. Some instructors like to include at least one very difficult question -- though not a trick question or a trivial one -- to challenge the interest of the best students. They place that question at or near the end of the exam. Try out the timing. No purpose is served by creating a test too long for even wellprepared students to finish and review before turning it in. As a rule of thumb, allow about one-half minute per item for true-false tests, one minute per item for multiplechoice tests, two minutes per short-answer requiring a few sentences, ten or fifteen minutes for a limited essay question, and about thirty minutes for a broader essay question. Allow another five or ten minutes for students to review their work, and factor in time to distribute and collect the tests. Another rule of thumb is to allow students about four times as long as it takes you (or a graduate student instructor) to complete the test. (Source: McKeachie, 1986) Give some thought to the layout of the test. Use margins and line spacing that
make the test easy to read. If items are worth different numbers of points, indicate the point value next to each item. Group similar types of items, such as all true-false questions, together. Keep in mind that the amount of space you leave for short-answer questions often signifies to the students the length of the answer expected of them. If students are to write on the exam rather than in a blue book, leave space at the top of each page for the student's name (and section, if appropriate). If each page is identified, the exams can be separated so that each graduate student instructor can grade the same questions on every test paper, for courses that have GSIs.
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Code of Ethics
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New York State Code of Ethics for Educators New York State Code of Ethics for Educators (PDF) Background on the Development of the Code Print Code of Ethics Poster Code of Ethics in PowerPoint
Code of Ethics poster --- to order or print The Code of Ethics for Educators poster may now be ordered through the State Education Department’s Publication Sales Desk. For order form and information, go to Poster Ordering Instructions. The Code of Ethics poster is also available in PDF format for viewing and printing. Go to Poster (PDF). Code of Ethics in PowerPoint We invite you to copy this presentation and share it with your colleagues. The slide show can be used to spur discussion in a variety of settings. Consider including it in:
Teacher preparation seminars
Resources Teacher Tenure Hearing (3020a) School Districts
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School faculty meetings Parent-teacher events Professional development workshops
CLICK on this image to open the PowerPoint document and begin the slide show. The slide animations and slide transitions are set to advance on mouse clicks OR automatically on a timer.
We suggest you disable the automatic timed transition if you prefer to control the rate of the presentation manually. We welcome your feedback on this presentation. To send us your comments, or to obtain a text version of this slide show, please contact Nancy Taylor Baumes at the address below. New York State Code of Ethics for Educators Statement of Purpose The Code of Ethics is a public statement by educators that sets clear expectations and principles to guide practice and inspire professional excellence. Educators believe a commonly held set of principles can assist in the individual exercise of professional judgment. This Code speaks to the core values of the profession. "Educator" as used throughout means all educators serving New York schools in positions requiring a certificate, including classroom teachers, school leaders and pupil personnel service providers. Principle 1: Educators nurture the intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and civic potential of each student. Educators promote growth in all students through the integration of intellectual, physical, emotional, social and civic learning. They respect the inherent dignity and worth of each individual. Educators help students to value their own identity, learn more about their cultural heritage, and practice social and civic responsibilities. They help students to reflect on their own learning and connect it to their life experience. They engage students in activities that encourage diverse approaches and solutions to issues, while providing a range of ways for students to demonstrate their abilities and learning. They foster the development of students who can analyze, synthesize, evaluate and communicate information effectively.
Principle 2: Educators create, support, and maintain challenging learning environments for all. Educators apply their professional knowledge to promote student learning. They know the curriculum and utilize a range of strategies and assessments to address differences. Educators develop and implement programs based upon a strong understanding of human development and learning theory. They support a challenging learning environment. They advocate for necessary resources to teach to higher levels of learning. They establish and maintain clear standards of behavior and civility. Educators are role models, displaying the habits of mind and work necessary to develop and apply knowledge while simultaneously displaying a curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. They invite students to become active, inquisitive, and discerning individuals who reflect upon and monitor their own learning. Principle 3: Educators commit to their own learning in order to develop their practice. Educators recognize that professional knowledge and development are the foundations of their practice. They know their subject matter, and they understand how students learn. Educators respect the reciprocal nature of learning between educators and students. They engage in a variety of individual and collaborative learning experiences essential to develop professionally and to promote student learning. They draw on and contribute to various forms of educational research to improve their own practice. Principle 4: Educators collaborate with colleagues and other professionals in the interest of student learning. Educators encourage and support their colleagues to build and maintain high standards. They participate in decisions regarding curriculum, instruction and assessment designs, and they share responsibility for the governance of schools. They cooperate with community agencies in using resources and building comprehensive services in support of students. Educators respect fellow professionals and believe that all have the right to teach and learn in a professional and supportive environment. They participate in the preparation and induction of new educators and in professional development for all staff. Principle 5: Educators collaborate with parents and community, building trust and respecting confidentiality. Educators partner with parents and other members of the community to enhance school programs and to promote student
learning. They also recognize how cultural and linguistic heritage, gender, family and community shape experience and learning. Educators respect the private nature of the special knowledge they have about students and their families and use that knowledge only in the students' best interests. They advocate for fair opportunity for all children. Principle 6: Educators advance the intellectual and ethical foundation of the learning community. Educators recognize the obligations of the trust placed in them. They share the responsibility for understanding what is known, pursuing further knowledge, contributing to the generation of knowledge, and translating knowledge into comprehensible forms. They help students understand that knowledge is often complex and sometimes paradoxical. Educators are confidantes, mentors and advocates for their students' growth and development. As models for youth and the public, they embody intellectual honesty, diplomacy, tact and fairness. This Code shall not be used as a basis for discipline by any employer and shall not be used by the State Education Department as a basis for a proceeding under Part 83 of Commissioner's Regulations, nor shall it serve as a basis for decisions pertaining to certification or employment in New York State. Conversely, this Code shall not be interpreted or used to diminish the authority of any public school employer to evaluate or discipline any employee under provisions of law, regulation, or collective bargaining agreement.
Background on the Development of the Code
The State Board of Regents, as part of its teaching reform initiatives outlined in the 1998 report, New York's Commitment: Teaching to Higher Standards, called for the State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching to develop a Code of Ethics for Teachers. In New York State, a teacher is defined as anyone for whom a certificate is required for service in the State's public schools. This includes classroom teachers, school administrators, and pupil personnel service providers. The Standards Board is a 28-member board that serves in an advisory capacity to the Regents and the Commissioner of Education. Its membership consists of teachers, school administrators, higher education representatives, public members, and a teacher education student. The Board worked for over a year to develop a draft Code of Ethics. The process involved a review of numerous other codes developed by professional organizations and
by other jurisdictions, both for the teaching profession and for other professions. Individual Board members also consulted with their colleagues in the field to inform the process. A draft was presented to the Regents Committee on Higher and Professional Education at the October 2001 Board of Regents meeting. Following this preliminary review by the Regents, the draft Code of Ethics was released for public comment. Reactions and suggestions were received from as broad a spectrum as possible: classroom teachers, school administrators and pupil personnel professionals, other members of the school community, teacher education students, college faculty, professional organizations, boards of education, parents and the general public. The State Standards and Practices Board reviewed all comments received and produced the final version of the code in June 2002. The New York State Code of Ethics for Educators was presented to the Board of Regents at its July 2002 meeting, at which time the Regents authorized the release of the Code to the public. For more information, contact: Nancy Taylor Baumes Secretary, State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching New York State Education Department Office of Teaching Initiatives, Room 5N EB Albany, New York 12234 Phone: (518) 474-4661
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EVALUATING YOUR OWN TEACHING
By L. Dee Fink Published in Improving College Teaching by Peter Seldin (ed.). Reprinted here with permission of the University of Oklahoma Instructional Development Program, July 20, 1999.
Introduction Each year faculty members in institutions of higher education take on the task of teaching others. For most of these people, this is a recurring task. In fact, for the majority, this is the central task of a life-long career.
Assuming that no one is perfect and therefore everyone has room for improvement, evaluation is the means by which we try to identify which aspects of our teaching are good and which need to be changed. The question then arises as to who should take responsibility for doing this evaluation. My belief is that evaluation is an inherent part of good teaching. Therefore it is the teacher himself or herself who should take primary responsibility for doing the evaluation. In this chapter, I will offer a basic definition of evaluation, state a few reasons why one should invest time and effort into evaluation, describe five techniques for evaluation, and identify resources for helping us evaluate and improve our teaching. A Definition of "Evaluation" Doing good evaluation is like doing good research. In both cases, you are trying to answer some important questions about an important topic. The key to doing both activities well is (a) identifying the right questions to ask and (b) figuring out how to answer them. What are the key questions in the evaluation of teaching? Basically they are: "How well am I teaching? Which aspects of my teaching are good and which need to be improved?" The first question attempts to provide a global assessment, while the second is analytical and diagnostic in character. Before moving to the task of figuring out how to answer these questions, we should look at the reasons for taking time to evaluate. Why Evaluate? It takes a certain amount of time and effort to effectively evaluate our own teaching. Is this a wise use of time? I would argue that it is, for three reasons. 1. First, consider the following diagram: Figure 1 The Effect of Evaluation on Our Teaching
Regardless of how good or how poor we are as teachers, we all have the potential to get better over time (see the arrow in Figure 1). Yet some teachers continually improve and approach their potential (see arrow) while others experience a modest improvement early in their career and then seem to level off in quality or sometimes even decline (see arrow). Why? I would argue that the primary difference between those who do and those who do not improve, is that only the former gather information about their teaching and make an effort to improve some aspect of it -- every time they teach. 2. A second reason to evaluate is to document the quality of one's teaching for others. All career professionals have other people who need to know about the quality of their teaching. It may be the person's current department or institution head, or it may be a potential employer. But once people teach, they have a track record, and others need and want to know how well they taught. The only way a teacher can provide them with that information is to gather it, and that means evaluation. Teaching portfolios are becoming a common way of communicating this information to others. As it turns out, putting a portfolio together also helps the teacher understand his or her own teaching better. (See Zubizarreta, this volume.) 3. Third, there is a very personal and human need to evaluate. This is for our own mental and psychological satisfaction. It is one thing to do a good job and think that it went well; it is quite another, and a far more enjoyable experience, to have solid information and thereby know we did a good job. That knowledge, that certainty, is possible only if we do a thorough job of evaluation. If evaluation is worth doing then, how do we do it? Five Sources of Information There are five basic sources of information that teachers can use to evaluate their teaching. All evaluation efforts use one or more of these basic sources. Each of these five sources has a unique value as well as an inherent limitation.
In the following portion of this chapter, I will discuss the unique value, recommended frequency, limitation, and appropriate response to that limitation, for each of the five sources of information. Figure 2
TECHNIQUES FOR EVALUATING YOUR OWN TEACHING
Techniques Unique Value and Recommended Frequency Appropriate Response to Limitations
3. Information from students
a. Questionnaires (1) Beginning of year (2) Mid-year (3) End-of-year
4. Students' test results 5. Outside observers
a. Fellow faculty member b. Admin./Senior Fac. Member
OU Instruc. Devel. Prog. Dee Fink & Arlene Knight Phone: 5-2323
SelfSelf-monitoring is what people do semi-automatically and semi-consciously whenever they teach. Most of their mental activity is concerned with making the presentation or leading the discussion. But one portion of their mental attention is concerned with "How is it going?" "Are they with me?" "Am I
losing them?" "Are they interested or bored?" Unique Value. The first value of this is that it is immediate and constant. You do not have to wait a week or a day or even an hour to get the results. It happens right away. Hence adjustments are possible right away. The second value is that this information is automatically created in terms that are meaningful to the teacher because it is the teacher who creates the information. It is the teacher, not someone else, who looks at the situation and says "This is what is happening." This does not mean that we always know why it is happening, or what to do about it if it is something we do not like. But we do have our own sense of what is happening. Frequency. This does and should happen all the time. We may only take a mental pause every few minutes to size up the situation. But by comparison with the other sources of information discussed below, this takes place continuously. Limitation. The very strength of this source is also its weakness. Because this information is created by us for us, it is also subject to our own biases and misinterpretations. I thought they were understanding the material. I thought they looked interested --when in fact they weren't. We all have our own blind spots and lack complete objectivity. This means that, at times, we are going to misread the responses of students to our teaching. Appropriate Response. What can be done about the subjectivity of selfmonitoring? Turn to an objective source of information, one without subjective bias. 2. Audiotape and Videotape Recordings Modern technology has given us relatively inexpensive and easy access to audio and video recordings of what we do as teachers. We can put a small audio recorder on the teachers desk or put a video recorder on the side of the classroom and let it run during a class session. Then later we can listen to or view it. Special value. The value of this kind of information is that it gives us totally objective information. It tells us exactly what we really said, what we really did, not what we thought we said or did. How much time did I spend on this topic? How many times did I ask questions? How often did I move around? These are questions the audio and video recordings can answer with complete accuracy and objectivity. Frequency. I had the experience of giving a workshop once that was recorded.
Listening to the recording later, I discovered to my surprise that I had some disruptive speech patterns of which I was completely unaware. And I am an experienced observer of teachers! The lesson from this was that, no matter how good we are at monitoring others, we can only devote a certain amount of our mental attention to monitoring our own teaching; hence we miss things. As a result of that experience, I now try to do an audio recording at least once or preferably twice in each full-semester course I teach. This gives me a chance to see if any speech problems are still there or if new ones have cropped up. If they have, the second recording tells me if I have gotten them under control. Video recordings are probably useful once every year or two. What do we look like to others? As we grow older, we change, and we need to know what the continuously anew me looks like to others. Limitation. What could be more valuable than the objective truth of audio and video recordings? Unfortunately the unavoidable problem with this information is that it is true but meaningless -- by itself. The recordings can tell me if I spoke at the rate of 20 words per minute, or 60 words, but they can't tell me whether that was too slow or too fast for the students. They can tell me whether I moved and gestured and smiled, but it can't tell me if those movements and facial expressions helped or hindered student learning. Appropriate response. To determine the effect of my teaching behavior, rather than the behavior itself, I need to find another source of information. (Are you starting to see the pattern here?) 3. Information from Students As the intended beneficiaries of all teaching, students are in a unique position to help their teachers in the evaluation process. Special value. If we want to know whether students find our explanations of a topic clear, or whether students find our teaching exciting or dull, who else could possibly answer these kinds of questions better than the students themselves? Of the five sources of information described here, students are the best source for understanding the immediate effects of our teaching, i.e., the process of teaching and learning. This information can be obtained in two distinct ways: questionnaires and interviews, each with its own relative values. a. Questionnaires. The most common method of obtaining student reactions to our teaching is to use a questionnaire. Lots of different
questionnaires exist but most in fact ask similar kinds of questions: student characteristics (e.g., major, GPA, reasons for taking the course), the students characterization of the teaching (e.g., clear, organized, interesting), amount learned, overall assessment of the course and/or the teacher (e.g., compared to other courses or other teachers, this one is ...), and sometimes, anticipated grade. The special value of questionnaires, compared to interviews, is that they obtain responses from the whole class and they allow for an anonymous (and therefore probably more candid) response. The limitation of questionnaires is that they can only ask a question once, i.e., that cannot probe for further clarification, and they can only ask questions that the writer anticipates as possibly important. Questionnaires can be given at three different times: the beginning, middle and end of a course. Some teachers use questionnaires at the beginning of a course to get information about the students, e.g., prior course work or experience with the subject, preferred modes of teaching and learning, and special problems a student might have (e.g., dyslexia). Many use mid-term questionnaires to get an early warning of any existing problems so that changes can be made in time to benefit this set of students. The advantage of end-of-term questionnaires is that all the learning activities have been completed. Consequently, students can respond meaningfully to questions about the overall effectiveness of the course. b. Interviews. The other well-established way of finding out about student reactions is to talk to them. Either the teacher(if sufficient trust and rapport exist) or an outside person (if more anonymity and objectivity are desired) can talk with students for 15-30 minutes about the course and the teacher. As an instructional consultant, I have often done this for other teachers, but I have also done it in some of my own courses. I try to get 6-8 students, preferably a random sample, and visit with them in a focused interview format immediately after class. I have some general topics I want to discuss, such as the quality of the learning thus far, reactions to the lectures, labs, tests, and so forth. But within these topics, I will probe for clarification and examples of perceived strength and weakness. I also note when there is divergence of reactions and when most students seem to agree. The special value of interviews is that students often identify unanticipated strengths and weaknesses, and the interviewer can probe and follow-up on topics that need clarification. The limitation of course is that a professor can usually only interview a sub-set of the class, not the whole class. This leaves some uncertainty as to whether
their reactions represent the whole class or not. As for the frequency of interviews, I would probably only use a formal interview once or at most twice during a term. Of course, a teacher can informally visit with students about the course many times, and directly or indirectly obtain a sense of their reaction to the course. General limitation. Returning to the general issue of information from students, regardless of how such information is collected, one needs to remember that this is information from students. Although they know better than anyone what their own reactions are, they can also be biased and limited in their own perspectives. They occasionally have negative feelings, often unconsciously, about women, people who are ethnically different from themselves, and international teachers. Perhaps more significantly, students usually do not have a full understanding of how a course might be taught, either in terms of pedagogy or content. Hence they can effectively address what is, but not what might be. Appropriate response. As with the other limitations, the appropriate response here is to seek another kind of information. In this case, we need information from someone with a professional understanding of the possibilities of good teaching. 4. Students' test results. Teachers almost always give students some form of graded exercise, whether it is an in-class test or an out-of-class project. Usually, though, the intent of the test is to assess the quality of student learning. We can also use this same information to assess the quality of our teaching. Special value. The whole reason for teaching is to help someone else learn. Assuming we can devise a test or graded exercise that effectively measures whether or not students are learning what we want them to learn, the test results basically tell us whether or not we are succeeding in our whole teaching effort. This is critical information for all teachers. Although the other sources of information identified here can partially address this question (I think they are learning, The students think they are learning.), none address it so directly as test results: I know they are learning because they responded with a high level of sophisticated knowledge and thinking to a challenging test. Frequency. How often should we give tests? Many teachers follow the tradition of two mid-terms and a final. In my view this is inadequate feedback, both for the students and for the teacher. Weekly or even daily feedback is much more effective in letting students and the teacher know whether they are
learning what they need to learn as the course goes along. If the teacher's goal is to help the students learn, this is important information for both parties. And remember, not all tests need to be graded and recorded! Limitation. It might be hard to imagine that this information has a limitation. After all, this is what it's all about, right? Did they learn it or not? The problem with this information is its lack of a causal connection: we don't know why they did or did not learn. Did they learn because of, or in spite of, our teaching? Some students work very hard in a course, not because the teacher inspires or motivates them but because their major requires a good grade in the course and the teacher is NOT effective. Therefore they work hard to learn it on their own. Appropriate response. If we need to know whether one's actions as a teacher are helpful or useless in promoting student learning, we need a different source of information, such as the students themselves. 5. Outside observer In addition to the two parties directly involved in a course, the teacher and the students, valuable information can be obtained from the observations of a third party, someone who brings both an outsider's perspective and professional expertise to the task. Special value. Part of the value of an outside observer is that they do not have a personal stake in the particular course, hence they are free to reach positive and negative conclusions without any cost to themselves. Also, as a professional, they can bring an expertise either in content and/or in pedagogy that is likely to supplement that of both the teacher and the students. A variety of kinds of observers exist: a peer colleague, a senior colleague, or an instructional specialist. a. Peer colleagues, e.g., two TA's or two junior professors, can visit each others classes and share observations. Here the political risk is low and each one can empathize with the situation and challenges facing the other. Interestingly, the person doing the observing in these exchanges often finds that they learn as much as the person who gets the feedback. b. Senior colleagues can be of value because of their accumulated experience. Although one has to be selective and choose someone who is respected and with whom the political risk is low, experienced colleagues can offer ideas on alternative ways of dealing with particular topics, additional examples to illustrate the material, etc.
c. A third kind of outside observer, an instructional consultant, is available on many campuses. They may or may not be able to give feedback on the clarity and significance of the content material, but their expertise in teaching allows them to comment on presentation techniques, discussion procedures, and ideas for more active learning. Frequency. Beginning TA's and beginning faculty members should consider inviting one or more outside observers to their classes at least once a semester for two or three years. They need to get as many new perspectives on teaching as soon as possible. After that, more experienced teachers would probably benefit from such feedback at least once every year or two. We change as teachers; as we do, we need all the feedback and fresh ideas we can find. Limitations. Again, the strength of being an outsider is also its weakness. Outside observers can usually only visit one or two class sessions and therefore do not know what happens in the rest of the course. Apart from this general problem, each kind of observer has its own limitation. The peer colleague may also have limited experience and perspectives; the senior colleague may be someone who makes departmental decisions about annual evaluations and tenure; and the instructional consultant may have limited knowledge of the subject matter. Appropriate response. As with the other sources, the response to these limitations is to use a different source, either a different kind of outside observer or one of the other sources described above. A Comprehensive Evaluation Scenario The thesis of this chapter is that a comprehensive plan of evaluation for improvement requires all five sources of information. Each one offers a special kind of information that none of the others do. How would this work out in action? To answer this question, I will describe a hypothetical professor who is not a perfect teacher and therefore has some yet-to-be identified weaknesses in his teaching, but he also wants to improve his teaching. What steps should he take to evaluate his teaching as a way of identifying those aspects that need changing? The Case of Professor X Professor X is a relatively young person, only two years into his tenure track position at University Would Be Good. This fall he will be teaching a junior level course on International Trade. He once attended a workshop on Evaluating Your Own Teaching, so he knows what he should do. On the first day of class, he keeps his eyes and ears open (self-monitoring) to see 54
what sort of personality this year's class has. In addition, he asks students to fill out a short questionnaire about business or international experience they have had, prior course work in related areas, and what they hope to get out of the course. From this he discovers a wide range of backgrounds. Some students have extensive international experience and others have none at all. Perhaps he can use the former as a resource for the latter. A few weeks into the course, he brings a small cassette recorder into class and makes an audio recording. After listening to it, he feels reasonably good about his presentation but notes there is little student participation. Class time consists mainly of "teacher-talk." The weekly quizzes are turning out okay, but he had hoped that, since they were upper division students, the class would be getting into it a bit more. After thinking about this awhile and talking to one of his departmental colleagues, he decides to call the university instructional development program and request a class review. His colleague said these people actually make some good suggestions once in awhile. The consultant, who was recently hired into the program because of her doctorate in instructional communication, meets with the professor, visits his class twice, and then shares her observations with him. Her reaction is that the lectures seem good enough, but there is just too much of the same thing day after day: lecture, lecture, lecture. She suggests using some active learning strategies. After hearing the reaction of the consultant, Professor X decides to use a mid-term questionnaire available from the instructional development program to see if the students feel the same way. The consultant helps him interpret the results, which indicate a degree of boredom with the steady diet of lectures. The consultant gives him a handout on "enhanced lectures" that shows how to intersperse some active learning activities in between shorter lecture segments. They also discuss some possible larger modifications for next semester. On the end-of-semester course evaluation, Professor X adds some special questions about the changes he has made. The responses indicate that students like the changes, and the overall results, while not yet outstanding, are appreciably higher than in previous terms. The point of this scenario is to illustrate that a thorough evaluation of teaching can be effective in identifying important changes that can be made, and that such evaluation is much more extensive than simply looking at one comparative statistic on an endof-semester questionnaire. But how costly is a comprehensive evaluation plan in terms of the time required? The
case study above is a composite of actual cases. Based on these cases, I would make the following estimate of the time required beyond what happens anyway in normal teaching:
Task Self-monitoring Initial questionnaire Audio-recording Weekly quizzes Visit with consultant Mid-term questionnaire End-of-term questionnaire Total Additional Time (hrs) 0 (did automatically anyway) 1 (writing, interpreting) 1 (reviewing afterwards) 0 (did this anyway) 3 (three times) 1 (constructing, interpreting) 1 (for added questions) 7 hours
The seven hours required for a comprehensive evaluation is an addition of about 5% to the total time required for teaching one three-credit hour course in one semester. This amounts to less than 1/2 hour per week for the whole term. This is a small but wise investment that informed Professor X of an important area of his teaching that needed improving. This investment will pay big dividends in effectiveness and satisfaction in a major area of his professional life for many years. Sources of Assistance Professors should not think that they have to do it alone when it comes to evaluating their teaching. I will describe some sources of assistance that are available for two important activities: constructing or selecting a questionnaire and figuring out how to make needed improvements. Student questionnaires. The first option for getting a questionnaire to use in class is to write it yourself. At institutions with instructional development programs, consultants can help in this process. Custom-made questionnaires can focus on specific questions the professor has about his or her teaching. Or they can be open-ended, asking questions like: How satisfied are you with what you are learning? What do you like most about the course? If you could change one thing about the course, what would it be? A second source is often the institution itself. Many institutions have questionnaires that are available, or required, for end-of-term use. These have the advantage of being ready-made, but they also frequently allow the professor to add his own questions. The third option is to use a nationally available questionnaire. The two I recommend
on our campus are the TABS for mid-term use and the IDEA system for end-of-term use. The TABS questionnaire was developed at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is based on 20 common problems in teaching. The recommended use is for the professor to assess the course in terms of these characteristics, and then to compare his/her assessment with student reactions. The IDEA system is available from the Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development at Kansas State University. Its central criterion for assessing effectiveness is whether or not students learned what the professor was trying to teach. It also includes a diagnostic section and national norms that incorporate class size and initial student interest. Ideas for improving. The primary thrust of this chapter is on how to find out what one's strengths and weaknesses are as a teacher. But having identified them, a professor still needs ideas and assistance on how to make needed improvements. Four resources can be helpful with this: selected colleagues, books and journals, institutionally-based instructional development programs, and off-campus workshops. The handiest resource is undoubtedly colleagues who are creative and effective in their own teaching. They are usually flattered by requests to visit their classes, review their course materials, and discuss their teaching strategies and philosophy. (See the chapters by (a) Sorcinelli, (b) Millis and Kaplan, and (c) Gmelch, this volume). A wide variety of reading material is available on teaching and ways to improve it. Several disciplines have journals with articles on teaching a specific subject matter. Some are focused specifically on college-level teaching. One journal, College Teaching, is not subject-specific but contains high quality articles that are relevant to essentially all subjects. As for books, three that I often recommend to teachers are Teaching Tips by Wilbert McKeachie, Mastering the Techniques of Teaching by Joseph Lowman, and Active Learning by Eison and Bonwell. A third resource, which is available on many campuses, is an instructional development program. During the last two decades more and more institutions have seen fit to sponsor such a program as an appropriate investment in the single most costly and important factor in a university's quality: the faculty. The professional staff in these programs can offer selected reading material, share their own ideas, and provide classroom observations and feedback to faculty members. (See the chapters by (a) Simpson and Jackson and (b) Wadsworth, this volume.) Finally, a number of disciplinary associations, regional consortia, and entrepreneurial persons at various universities now offer workshops, often in the summer, for regional and national audiences of faculty members wanting to learn how to become better teachers. These range from a few days to a few weeks in length. They give participants a chance to hear new ideas, systematically study a wide range of issues and topics, and practice new possibilities in a low-risk setting with feedback from understanding and sympathetic peers.
Conclusions People who have chosen careers as teachers in higher education owe it to themselves, to their students, and to their institutions to fulfill their responsibilities as effectively as possible. The thesis of this chapter is that the only way to improve one's teaching over time is to continuously monitor and evaluate that teaching, and then to use the information obtained to make needed changes. The various techniques described in this chapter, especially when used together, can give us the deep personal and professional satisfaction of being able to say, after a single course or after a career of teaching, "I did my best, and it was good!"
DAILY LESSON PLAN
SUBJECT OF LESSON
INSTRUCTIONAL AIDS, MATERIALS, OR TOOLS NEEDED
Nine Types of Adaptations
Size Adapt the number of items that the learner is expected to learn or complete. For example: Reduce the number of social studies terms a learner must learn at any one times.
Time Adapt the time allotted and allowed for learning, task completion, or testing. For example: Individualize a timeline for completing a task; pace learning differently (increase or decrease) for some learners. Difficulty Adapt the skill level, problem type, or the rules on how the learner may approach the work. For example: Allow the use of a calculator to figure math problem; simplify task directions; change rules to accommodate learner needs. Alternate Adapt the goals or outcome expectations while using the same materials. For example: In social studies, expect a student to be able to locate just the states while others learn to locate capitals as well.
Level of Support Increase the amount of personal assistance with a specific learner. For example: Assign peer buddies, teaching assistants, peer tutors, or crossage tutors.
Adapt the way instruction is delivered to the learner. For example: Use different visual aids, plan more concrete examples, provide handson activities, place students in cooperative groups.
Adapt how the student can respond to instruction. For example: Instead of answering questions in writing, allow a verbal response, use a communication book for some students, allow students to show knowledge with hands-on materials
Adapt the extent to which a learner is actively involved in the task. For example: In geography, have a student hold the globe, while others point out locations.
Provide different instruction and materials to meet a student's individual goals. For example: During a language test, one student is learning computer skills in the computer lab
We have been reading the Catechism at night to my children. My eldest at least recognizes the Ten Commandments in order and can recite most of the Apostle's Creed. This has shown me the necessity of proper teaching of our children. It isn't the Pastor's responsibility. It isn't something that will just pop into their head. Parents must teach it consistently. This is a failing point of many Christians, not limited to just LC-MS, Roman Catholics or some "other denomination." If you aren't teaching your children, the best you can hope for is a mediocre appreciation and very little to fall back on in times of temptation and testing. For anyone who ends up reading this (if there is anyone at all), please teach your children the basics of Christian faith. It is imperative that they understand and learn these things early. It is the basis that allows a deeper understanding of what the Bible is really about.
P O S T E D B Y V I R G I N I A L U T H E R A N S AT 1 0 : 3 7 P M 0 COMMENTS: POST A COMMENT
J. HANSEN F R E D E R I C K S B U R G , V I R G I N I A , U N I T E D S TAT E S
I started this blog to discuss the things that popular Christianity doesn't want to discuss. They are stuck on the "make love not war" Jesus, which misses the Jesus who threw out the merchants in the temple and will come again with Judgment. It is my hope to reflect Biblical teaching, with a Lutheran twist. My family and I go to a confessional Lutheran church.
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Happy New Year
Some Notes on Team Teaching Sharon A. Maroney Western Illinois University-Quad Cities SA-Maroney1@wiu.edu
With the increased emphasis on inclusive programming for all students, many of us are being asked to team teach. Team teaching partnerships have developed with special education colleagues or with colleagues in regular education and/or support services. Frequently when teachers are interested in team teaching or when they are asked to develop team teaching partnerships, questions arise regarding the basics of team teaching: the what's, the how's, the why's, and the what for's. As a starting point, I'd like to share with you two sets of information. The first introduces five different models of team teaching. For me, this information helps generate the many possibilities available when two educators work together. The second set of information identifies what I see to be the prerequisites for successful team teaching. Five Types of Team Teaching The first type of team teaching is Traditional Team Teaching in which both teachers actively share the instruction of content and skills to all students. A frequent application of this approach is when one teacher presents the new information to the class while the other teacher takes notes or completes the math problem on the blackboard or constructs a semantic map on the overhead projector as the students listen and observe. In Traditional Team Teaching both teachers accept equal responsibility for the education of all students and are actively involved throughout the class period. The second type of team teaching, referred to as Complimentary or Supportive Instruction, occurs when one teacher assumes the responsibility for teaching the content to the students while the other teacher provides follow-up instructional activities on related topics or study skills. In this approach one teacher introduces the chapter content to the class and gives the reading assignment. The second teacher then instructs the students to use the SQ3R reading strategy as they complete their reading assignment. Another example of Complimentary or Supplementary team teaching is when one teacher assumes the responsibility for curriculum instruction while the second teacher designs and implements a self-monitoring strategy, such as the Time Game, to increase student attention to task. Parallel Instruction is a third type of team teaching in which the class is divided into two groups and each teacher provides instruction on the same content or skills to a smaller group of students. This type can work well for activities such as solving math problems, completing research projects, or creative writing activities as it enables teachers to work more closely with students. A variation of Parallel Instruction, which might be used weekly, is when both teachers individually review student notebooks or progress on individual science projects. In this variation the class is not divided but both teachers are performing the same tasks in a parallel fashion. In Differentiated Split Class Team Teaching the class is divided into two groups according to a specified learning need. Each group is provided with instruction to meet that specified need. This type is frequently applied when the class is divided in a higher-lower
split and one teacher provides an enrichment activity to the higher functioning students while the second teacher provides reteaching of the newly taught content or skill to those students who require additional instruction. Using the Differentiated Split Class Team Teaching approach in various subject areas will required different groups of students as many students have strengths in some areas while not in others. The fifth type of team teaching involves the Monitoring Teacher. In this approach as one teacher assumes the responsibility for class wide instruction, the other teacher circulates the room and monitors student achievement and behavior. This approach can be applied when one teacher delivers instruction and models the steps of a lab experiment, while the other teacher moves around the room to observe and assist individual students as they work. During a lecture, the lecturing teacher might be using a strategy in which he/she stops frequently during the lecture to ask students to quickly answer a question on their individual Response Cards. The Monitoring Teacher can then determine whether or not students have responded correctly and can provide immediate feedback to the lecturing teacher. Often teachers may choose to use more than one type of team teaching in the same class period, as in this example. During the first 20 minutes of the class, one teacher presents a history lecture while the other teacher completes a time line on the blackboard (Traditional Team Teaching). Then the students are divided in two groups. One group is given instruction on writing a composition related to and expanding on the time line, while the other group is instructed on making an outline of time line information (Differentiated Split Class). As with any form of classroom instruction, a cycle of planning for instruction, implementation of the instructional plan, evaluation of the results of instruction, and problem solving to improve future instructional activities is required. Prerequisites to Successful Team Teaching The basic prerequisites for successful team teaching emphasize the personal qualities needed for team teachers and the attitudes needed for success. Successful team teachers are those who are united, not divided, and have a true partnership in the classroom. These teachers maintain the focus on the students. They have an agreed upon purpose for team teaching, agreed upon class rules and procedures, and agreed upon expectations for students and their teaching partner. Successful Team Teachers are: Willing and Want To Try Team Teaching Positive Thinkers Respectful Honest Trusting and Trustworthy Open to Another's Point of View Able to Communicate Flexible Resourceful
"I'll try anything once!" People Individuals who Don't Take Things Personally In team teaching no "Yeah Butters" are allowed! We've all met these individuals. The ones who are always the first to say, "Yeah but that won't work . . .Yeah but I tried that before . . . Yeah but this class . . . Yeah but . . . Yeah but . . . Yeah but . . . And as with any additional task, planning time and debriefing time is prerequisite for successful team teaching. Good Luck!
TIPES FOR INTERWIE
Timing is everything: Don't cause yourself undue stress before a big interview. Arrive about 10 minutes before the interview is scheduled to begin. If you arrive too early, you'll sit and wait and worry. And if you arrive too late, you may find yourself racing in the door, your heart already pounding from a last-minute dash. A ten-minute, pre-interview break will give you an opportunity to catch your breath and acclimate to your surroundings. It's enough time, but not too much time. Picture This You can make your dream a reality. Use your imagination to stay calm during a job interview. Visualization is a relaxation technique in which you create a mental image of a stressful or challenging situation. Then you imagine yourself succeeding in the situation. By doing so, you're mentally preparing to handle the event in real life. You can practice visualization in the days, hours or even minutes before an interview. Simply close your eyes and breathe deeply. Picture yourself greeting the interviewer confidently and answering tough questions with ease. Practice succeeding in your imagination, and soon you'll be doing it in reality. Relax A relaxed job candidate is a confident job candidate. Show the interviewer that you're calm, composed and in command during an interview. He's likely to assume that you'll be rock-solid on the job too. Use these tips to stay relaxed during an interview:
• • • • •
Breathing deeply and slowly (and quietly, of course). Sit up straight and don't cross your legs or arms. Speak slowly and pause for breath often. Keeps your hands and jaw relaxed; no clenching. Smile -- it really is contagious!
Pause, Don't Panic In every interview, there comes a moment that doesn't go according to plan. There's an awkward silence. You stumble over your words. You flub a tough question.
Don't panic. Now's the time to put your relaxation skills into overdrive. It's much easier to control fear and panic as it starts to build than to calm yourself down once they've begun to spiral out of control. When you feel yourself starting to panic and lose focus, pause. Tell yourself silently that you can do this. Take a deep breath. Refocus. And then resume interviewing. A quick ten-second pause can be all you need to regain your composure and get back in control. And the interviewer likely won't even notice. Discuss with other job seekers: HotJobs Message Boards Don't get too detailed about your specific career plan. Instead, discuss things that are important to you professionally and how you plan to achieve them. If growth is a goal, mention that. You can also talk about challenge, another value that employers prize in their employees. The 'Salary' Question Most people will tell you that whoever answers this question first loses. But that's not necessarily true. When an interviewer asks your salary requirement, try first to gently deflect the question by inquiring about the salary for the position. If the interviewer presses you for a number, give a range. To decide on a range, think about the salary you want, your salary at your most recent position and the industry-standard salary for the job. The bottom line: The salary question is one of the most important, so you should prepare for it in advance and plan what to say. The 'Why' Question There's a fine line between boastful and confident. And you need to learn it. When an interviewer asks you why they should hire you, you're going to have speak confidently and honestly about your abilities. But you should avoid sounding overly boastful. Aim for earnest and prepare by practicing. That's right: Stand in front of the mirror and acknowledge your abilities and accomplishments to your reflection. Tell yourself: I have a very strong work ethic. I have integrity. I have excellent industry contacts. I aggressively pursue my goals. It's sometimes hard to praise yourself, but after a few sessions you'll sound sincere. The Seemingly Silly Question If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? What if you were a car? Or an animal? These type of questions can bring your interview to a screeching halt. First, don't panic. Pause and take a deep breath. Then remind yourself that there's no "right" answer to these questions. The job isn't hinging on whether you choose to be a spruce versus an oak.
Interviewers usually ask these questions to see how you react under pressure and how well you handle the unexpected. It's not so important what type of tree (or car, or animal) you choose as that you explain your choice in a way that makes you look favorable. So, be a spruce -- because you want to reach new heights in your career. Or be an oak -- because you plan to put down roots at the company. Either way, you'll get it right.