Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ideas about cohesive teaching

Dear Students,

I am thinking about how to make learning more cohesive. How can I balance old and new in one 90 minute lesson? How can I juxtapose many roles? A teacher must explain, monitor, organize, correct, revise, reteach, react, and so on. This is a "meditation" about combining learning and teaching.

One cohesion point is TTT: test-teach-test. First test and find out what people know or don't know, then teach something new, then test again to find out their progress. The cycle can, of course, be repeated. I like this way, because when we do the first test step and correct the test together, it is motivating for the students to talk about errors and what they believe they need to learn more about. These discussions are student-centered. The teacher receives valuable details--if he or she is listening well.

Today I watched an MS PowerPoint slideshow which showed effective teaching with PowerPoint. First, it showed students what they would reach by watching. Second, the slideshow had numerous dramatic examples showing content in surprising ways. Finally, the ideas presented were based on trusted theories of learning. After watching, I thought: yes, I can apply this to help my own students.

Over to you--what should a teacher do to create cohesion in 90 minutes?

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