Monday, February 27, 2012

7 Tips to Improve Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning - it's what we do and what we hope the students do. Here are some tips to help improve teaching and learning:

1. Help students combat fear of academic failure.
Encourage them. They can do it. Support them. Let them know that it is ok to be wrong or fail, as long as you learn from that and move on. Connect class concepts to their lives. Success here = success in life.

2. Determine grades on academics, not behavior. Behavior should be a separate issue from academic performance. Some of the academics skills they should be assessed on: Recall, comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize, evaluate

3. Ask questions of "How", "Why", "What if"
Deep, critical thinking questions, vs. rote memorization or multiple choice tests.

4. Don't feel compelled to cover everything in the textbook. The textbook is NOT a curriculum.
Use other resources too.

5. Use State and Local Standards to promote what your students need to know and do.
Science: fundemental concepts and principles of scientific inquiry and problem solving. They need a functional literacy in the subject matter, along with other essential skills.

6. Build on their prior knowledge and experiences. Respect their opinions. What experiences do they have that can be applied to this topic. Make the topic relevant to them or something they already know about.
Science: ask students what they think will happen BEFORE a demo or lab and then discuss it afterwards.

7. Emphasize reading in every class. Reading for literature, for information, and to perform a task. Writing in every class is also important. 


10 Important Skills Students need for the Future

DEN SCICon - great learning experience and resources - also discusses how failure in science is part of process.

What I use with Physics classes instead of textbook


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