Sunday, April 25, 2010


I look back and realize that my personal theory has not changed that much from when we began. I am looking to implement voicethread into my class instruction, and I am hoping to be able to do more projects with my students developing story lines using PowerPoint. I hope to have a smartboard and a projector with a laptop in the next couple of years so that I can effectively teach my students use these tools to visually enhance learning.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Constructivism in Practice

As I watched this weeks video, I realized that this is very much the way I teach. I am all about my students being locked in to whatever benchmark we are covering. I am always looking for new and inventive ways to hook my students so they truly get the main concept of the lesson we are working through.

PowerPoint keeps coming up in almost all of the videos as a vital tool. I couldn't agree more. I especially like the idea of the students using what they are getting from the lesson and what they see to construct the PowerPoint. I think it is very important to nurture students creative side and to give them the opportunity to wow us (the teachers) more than us wowing the students!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cognitivism in Practice

The cognitive theory and the instructional process is composed of similar things. I particularly enjoyed the lesson this week on how technology come into play with both. I am always looking for things that will "trigger" my students and help them learn. Concept mapping tools such as graph organizers are a great tool that I simply could not live without. When I start having my students to write, it is important for them to know what they want to write about and how to pull the information they need to write an effective paper. When they choose their main topic, then they can build to that topic and as an end result have a great paper.

I also enjoyed the math lesson with the teacher using excel to teach her students about finding the solutions and not getting bogged down with all the data. I do feel that it is important for students to know how to derive at the answer without the help of the computer, but we start teaching them how to use a calculator to check their answers, this is just a more complete method for students to focus in and really learn the lesson not get lost in the data.

There are many other ways that the cognitive theory is used in instructional practice....great teachers pull as much into their lessons as possible!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Behaviorism in Practice

The behaviorist learning theory is based on B.F. Skinner's operant conditioning. There are two main parts to this theory. Reinforcement and punishment. Reinforcement being the most powerful tool. It has been stated that it only takes 21 days of a repeatitive motion to make something become a habit. So, is Skinner right that behavior can be reinforced and good or bad behavior be made into a habit. I would have to agree wtih this.

I think the same rules apply when you are teaching. If you have a student that is constantly missing the concept of a new skill or a reviewed skill, then as an educator it is our job to reprogram (or punish) that incorrect pattern. Now wait, before you think I am saying punish the student, that is NOT at all what I am saying. I am simply saying that the incorrectly learned material has to be replaced with the correct material and a habit has to be set with reinforcements.

During this weeks reading, I see how instructional strategies and behaviorist learning theories correlate. It is very apparent that they are both striving for a similar goal.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Too Much Too Soon!

I find it hard as a teacher today that I try so very hard to teach what needs to be taught and my students still do not do well when it is time to take the test. Is this because, 1 they are really not listening in class and I don't realize it....2 they are listening it but I am relaying it to them in such a way that it is not sinking in, or 3 are we expecting students to retain more and more at such a younger age that they are on overload like the rest of us.

I worry that my students are not getting enough "kid" time! You know, the time where we used to be able to go out when we got home from school and run around for half the afternoon and burn off some steam. Build forts, climb trees or get lost in the woods until our parents called us in for dinner. Now my students tell me they go home and immediately start homework to which they do not finish until dark or bedtime most days. Does it really take that much homework to get a lesson across to a child, and if so is it really that necessary?

I realize that as a teacher I should not be asking these questions, but as a mother, I can't help but wonder if our children are not going to wake up one day and wonder what happened to their childhood and resent us a little for not making them take a break and "smell the roses"!