The school that I’m currently teaching at is spearheading a big push for us to get as digital and creative as possible within the classroom. In other words, they’re pushing us to change the education paradigm in order to reach more types of learners. I have to admit, I’m a very traditional learner. Show it to me on a board (visual learner) and have me write it down one time (the good ‘ol chalk and talk) and I’m good.
The easiest kids for me to teach are audio learners. You know, the ones you can tell something to one time, don’t even have to show a visual to, and they can sit down and do the assignment. They’re often considered “the smart ones” when really they’re the most traditional type of learner. School is already set up for them to succeed (as it was for me too). Of course, many people can’t learn like that. Hence, The Big Push.
At my school I have to have a teacher website where I upload HW, handouts, etc…I must say, though it took a lot of time in the beginning to set up the website, it’s making my life easier. If I forget a handout in my room (someone always teaches in my room during my prep periods), as long as I can get to a computer with a printer and internet access I’m good. It’s also easy to refer kids who missed class to the website for any needed homework. It builds their independence and helps my sanity.
I recently had a wonderful Skype conversation with another teacher who’s Stateside. I met him through the same NEH program mentioned above. We discussed best practices for teaching English (my main content area) and Social Studies (his main content area).
For those who are interested, here are a few resources I’m either using or will be using to help me change my ultra-traditional Education Paradigms:
Discovery Education–when teaching vocabulary you can make crossword puzzles and word searches; the kids never got tired of them
Typeform–this is a visually appealing way to make surveys; great for checks for understanding during a lesson (if your school has the capability for kids to get online during class and/or encourages that); in my case, I assigned my first Typeform as a part of a larger HW assignment. Since the school follows block scheduling, I gave the kids four days to access a computer and submit it online. In other words, I didn’t want to hear any sob stories.
TodaysMeet--once my school has the internet capability (which it should this school year), I’m definitely going to try to use this in the classroom when attempting a fishbowl type conversation (something ELSE I’ve never attempted!); until then, pencil and paper never hurt anyone.
Please send along/post in the comments section any other resources you think are helpful for teaching and Changing the Education Paradigm.