In education, math, planning on August 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm
This is a response to Damian Watson who asked me on Twitter to share some materials I created to keep track of student progress in math. I will, however, insert some photos, too, because some charts seem confusing without the aid of a visual.
I think it is also helpful to explain the process. (NOTE: These are my grade 2 samples.)
- First, I check the standards (given in the school Math curriculum). They are the big picture of what is expected and it is good to know them. However, they only help so much.
I correlate them with the report card objectives – as shown here Math – standards Read the rest of this entry »
In activities, inquiry, planning on July 22, 2013 at 8:39 pm
As promised, I am illustrating the teaching-learning process through the lens of what students know, do and understand. The planning looks simple and linear but learning is not.
I explained the power of provocations here and also gave several examples. For this inquiry unit, Plant Power, my team and I decided for a setting provocation – we changed all classrooms to resemble different habitats (mine was a rain forest).
The entire classroom resembled a rain forest – vines hanging from the ceiling, leaves and flowers across the desk etc. I also placed books, magnifying glasses, plant-related experimental tools. As expected, it had an extraordinary effect on children – aside from the “Oh!” triggered by the dramatic change, it spurred curiosity about plants – which, you might agree, seems such a “known”, familiar topic as plants are everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »
In inquiry, planning on July 21, 2013 at 9:22 pm
I promised in a tweet exchange with @oldandrewuk that I would blog about the planning process. Below is my thread of replies.
Re: Skills (vs) knowledge There is a distinction between prepositional knowledge (facts) and procedural knowledge (skills). The misconception occurs when educators think of each as completely independent and/or generalize. Skills are knowledge-based but that is a correlation not causation. I may know the structure of a car (knowledge) but not be able to drive it (skill). The opposite is true as well – I may be an excellent driver yet have very little understanding of how a car works, how I can fix it and so forth.
Where teachers are wrong is generalizing. Analyzing historical documents is different from analyzing literature works, for instance. Hence, “skills” (analyzing, comparing etc.) are knowledge-dependent. Prepositional knowledge (facts) alone cannot trigger/develop procedural knowledge (skills). Committing facts to memory is critical but not the final step. I, too, think a strong curriculum is the foundation for effective learning but not the only one. Being “fluent with facts” enables you to do things but only superficially. Knowing Shakespeare’s works does not make you a literary critic. When I plan lessons I have a distinction between what students should know, do and understand. I’ll elaborate in a future blog.
Read the rest of this entry »