I really enjoyed this article! It was written in a very practical, everyday language way. One of the phrases I pondered was ‘learning as sense-making.’ What a concept! But to make sense of learning, one must know what the student comes to the lesson with. Students must talk out loud about their thinking so they can compare with others ideas they have that match or dispute theirs.
I loved the chart on page 29 where strategies for supporting student sense-making were listed and then explained. It made sense to me. I liked the concept for teachers that we should think less about correcting misconceptions and think more about helping students engage explaining real-world phenomena. So we would teach and model classroom discussions to set the stage for learning. All this takes time; something I hear teachers gripe about not having enough of.
As discussed in previous assignments teachers must model how to use evidence to explain phenomena and encourage students to feel comfortable to share ideas and work with classmates towards a common goal.
I feel limited instruction and activity time with students all the time. My themed saying is ‘give more bang for the buck.’ I’m looking for enriching, deep thinking lessons that can be done in my limited time restraints with students with minimal breaks between sessions. That is a huge challenge for me! I’m glad the authors hit on that for other teachers also!
I loved the chart on page 31, where again, examples were shared of two teachers’ responses. Totally a better example in Response B.
We teachers need to preassess students’ ideas so we know if there are misconceptions coming to play in the learning process. If we correct their ideas or theories, they will lean on thinking their ideas will be replaced and they’ll memorize new information but continue to believe their original thoughts about the topic. There won’t be room to make allowances that make more sense thus staying stagnant in the learning curve.
My 1st graders did an exercise on building a small structure using miniature marshmallows and toothpicks. Nothing really wacky about this, but they worked in groups of 2. Many were watching what the other groups were building and how before they came up with an idea. Also getting some of my 1st graders to have an enriching conversation with a peer didn’t happen without coaching. Maybe this age is too young for the type of conversation needed in order to consider new theories.
I really feel I will continue to use my Fuddlebrook series to peak the students’ interest and launch into two science experiments that can be shared around the group. I plan to incorporate new resources, youtube videos, etc into what I have for means now. Always keep looking to enrich, grow, and wow those students!