Saturday, April 11, 2015

ED 7726 Week 1

Summarize your learning, recommend a strategy to your readers, make suggestions to educators on aligning technology with standards, explain the importance of this alignment, describe how Marzano/Hattie fit with CCSS, etc. 
Image from CBT McGraw-Hill blog 

Students learn best when they are able to interact with the material rather than just trying to absorb it by reading or listening. Using technology can help a visual learner connect with the material. Chris, a teacher at my school, was reading  Memories of a Geisha with her class. Although her students were interested in the story, they did not understand the cultural references. We collaborated and decided to use Thinglink as the platform for their research. Using an image as a base, students were asked to find credible information and link it to different aspects of the image. They were also required to use one video. Chris and I observed her students sharing information with their classmates while working on the project. When they continued their reading, the students were much more engaged in the story after they had completed their research. 

As the Librarian at my school, I weave research skills into every lesson. It is critical to stress source credibilty. We are all exposed to too much information. Students use technology, mostly the Google, to research everything. Being able to determine the validity of sources is not just part of the Common Core for college and career readiness, it is a life skill.

I somehow lack teacher terminology ("edspeak" is my nickname for it,) so I find myself looking outside the class resources for definitions and examples. According to the book, What Works in Schools, teachers who are considered "expert" use many strategies in their classrooms. Teachers who are ineffective have few effective strategies.  Although there are many strategies for learning, John Hattie was the first to quantify how much each individual strategy can effect the percentile gain for a student. As an example, according to Hattie, tutoring can cause a 19 point percentile gain, and simulation and games can cause a 13 point gain.* It is surprising how large a difference using proven strategies can make. It is worthwhile to make time to learn new strategies.

Marzano's and Hattie's teaching strategies are part of best practices for teaching and learning. Teachers who use these strategies help their students learn how to learn. The alignment of the Common Core Standards is designed reflect these same best practices.  The ELA standards focus on complex texts and learning strategies for understanding these texts. The high yield strategies mentioned in this week's readings can give students the skills they need for college and career readiness, the main focus of the Common Core.

* Hattie's effective gains in What Works in Schools are different from the link to Marzano's effective gains in the assignment.

Additional resource:

"Teacher Level Factors." What Works in Schools: Translating Research into Action. Robert J. Marzano. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2003. 69-70. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.

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