Monday, June 18, 2007

Exam 1 Question 1

Describe how you would go about selecting and applying a range of instructional strategies and resources to a lesson in your main teaching area.

"Instructional methods are used by teachers to create learning environments and to specify the nature of the activity in which the teacher and learner will be involved during the lesson.

Instructional strategies determine the approach a teacher may take to achieve learning objectives."

According to the Instructional strategies online website

At the beginning of the year I start with my room as a blank canvas, my area is Textiles so there are some essential resources that I must have sewing machines, thread, scissors the list goes on, there are also things that dictate how my room must be set up like power points so keeping all this in mind I go about creating a place that is both functional and inspirational.
Once I have formulated my layout of my room, this changes depending on the lesson that I am teaching. One such layout was made up of three different work stations, that promotes ease for group work a strategy I often use within my lessons either in pairs or small groups encouraging social interaction (Vygotsky).

Then I create inspiration walls of images that change and expand throughout the year and areas of instructional material (visual and written instructions of how to use the machine or make boxer shorts etc) which helps promote different styles of learning (Gardner).

Now I have created a place that is motivational (loads of images of fashion, soft toys etc) and hopefully safe, a place that is friendly in which the students can feel like they belong (Glasser).

Then my next reference is my program that outlines the Board of studies outcomes that I plan to cover though out the semester (or year depending on how your lessons are structured). My program has the area of the outcomes I will need to focus on in relation to the tasks that I have set. Within my area of teaching, Textiles, I have decided to cover the outcomes by sewing tasks that are set out in an order that always keeps in mind the students prior knowledge and ZPD (Vygotsky)
within which they will start and end the lesson.

The actual lesson, I start with the outcome that is the focus of the lesson then I create a key question.
This key question gives the teacher an in for the lesson something from which the whole lesson can be formulated and referenced back too, it also helps the students a get into the ZPD for that lesson and gives them security of knowing what it is they have to learn about or achieve through out the day (Glasser).
I also list on the board the aims for the day before they enter the room so I can
quickly reference it when I am verbally going through the day’s aims (Gardner).

Once I have formulated my Key question I would look at how I would structure the class considering the percentage of teacher input, teacher directed, student centred, student groups and remember that the timing of it all is very important.
Piaget “emphasised the importance of active problem solving” sewing is all about problem solving. Firstly there is the problem of how you logistically teacher fifteen children how to sew (a seemingly dying art in a lot of peoples eyes), one teacher, fifteen or so students in a room with machines and sharp objects.
(I have a list of safety and appropriate behaviour laminated in bold colourful writing on my wall for a start.)

I have tried to grab the student’s attention by providing a room that is exciting and inspiring so this helps the process of drawing them into the right space to learn.

Next there is the problem of the diverse range of teaching styles of which I try to cover as many as possible.(Gardner). Covered in question three.

Group work is vital the different methods that can be used are ‘Think, pair, share’, Jigsaw Groups, and the grafitti model depending on the lesson. Group work encourages Social interaction (Vygotsky).
One thing I try to incorporate into each lesson is critical reflection time, this helps to provide students with positive feedback and monitor their learning. (Hattie) I usually make my round up of the lesson (at the end of each lesson) a critical reflection time this helps them to reflect on the aims of the day and how they have achieved it. Through self-evaluation, group evaluation and the teacher’s evaluation students are able to become more effective learners and their learning experience is deepened. (Blooms Taxonomy) The evaluation process helps the students to synthesis their knowledge and there by giving them the skill to create new ideas.


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