Thursday, September 14, 2006

Some thoughts...

First things first-I really like the ideas of wikis-but I am still confused to how to it-I would have like time to tackle it together, ask more questions, etc. But, I feel as if we rush through some of these great pieces of tech. integration too fast, because we have to get to the next thing. I would haveloved to maybe collaborate and talk about how we could use them and it would have been benficial to get the how-to's. I know people just go and try it themsleves, which is great, but I am a person who needs a little more concrete when it comes to something that is foreign to me. Just a little thought.
But, on the plus side, I really feel like my students are buying into this thinking for yourself idea and allowing themselves to decipher meaning. I have had richer discussions and they are beginning to see the implications of "thinking" instead of just sitting back passively. I feel like the class has been more constructivist based as the students have been running the discussions and they are annotating constantly-partially because I'm making them; but I want them to see that there is real world application in interacting with what they read. So many students don't do this. They just get a piece of text, are assigned homework to read and then they just expect the ideas and answers to fall from the sky. I think the purposes are easy to grasp, but complacency and apathy take control, and the buy- in just skips out of the brain. It's easier to settle and just do it to get it done, which is a conversation I have had with my kids. I have been talking to my students about my intentions of what I want them to do and grasp, and how my teaching will affect that. I think they appreciate my honesty, even if I'm preaching the importance of what I want them to be able to do and know, especially when it comes to their thinking and doing. I have appreciated their interaction with me and taking the time to see things through my lens, which in turn, becomes reciprocal. But, i can't have a great class, and learning can't occur without their buy in. I think it is important to have these discussions with our kids-reflecting, going back to it, calling them out on the things that they are underperforming in, and really having them take a look into their own education. I keep telling them, I can't tell you what to think-you have to ask those questions and find what is applicable for your own purpose. I just want to note also, across all content areas, that my hope is that despite content, we all buy in to the idea that we are all teachers of literacy. I think our classrooms could be som much richer, if we taught kids how to think using some strategies. Most people do this anyway, even if they don't know it; but reading is a complex process that involves thinking. We have to give our kids the chance to succeed despite our content and the text we read. I found that just using a few strats. have enriched my kids thinking and it helps them with future preparation in education.


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