Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Implementation Project

Today I conducted my implementation project with my fifth grade students for my teaching with technology course. My lesson was designed to revisit concepts of absolute location using longitude and latitude. I used Hurricane Katrina data for my students to plot coordinates on a PowerPoint template I created.

I can begin by saying that my directions were clear and the lesson started out great! I reviewed concepts of longitude and latitude, and I even made my students perform a longitude and latitude dance to help them remember the direction of the lines. The students were engaged and excited. I had strategically planned partners for the students to minimize problems in the classroom, and I even had a few colleagues observe and help with my lesson.

Using the laptops was exciting for students, and they enthusiastically tackled the task. However, nothing can prepare a student teacher for the laptops that shut down in the lesson, the students who won't share the computers, and the overwhelming noise of the classroom. I am still an advocate for technology in the classroom, but I feel that individual use of technology must begin only when clear behavioral control have been established and asserted by the teacher in charge. I did everything I could to constantly redirect student attention to me, but the laptops were very distracting for the students.

Even though the lesson did not produce beautiful products for me to present, I can without a doubt, say that students were "learning." The most successful aspect of my unit was the review of longitude and latitude before the plotting of data points. One of my colleagues told me that she saw one of the students doing the longitude and latitude dance quietly to himself during the lesson, to help remind him the distinction between both lines. And, although technical difficulties impeded the progress, I saw engaged students who were working collaboratively.

My perfectionist tendencies will continue to be my best and worst enemy, especially as I prepare for next semester. It's disappointing when I teach a lesson that doesn't meet my expectations, but our mistakes and imperfections can provide a valuable learning experience for the future. I now know my students respond positively to technology, but I have to establish behavioral control in the classroom before I can implement some of the activities I have in store.


At 6:09 AM, Blogger selfbelief said...

The plan was a wonderful creative idea in teaching complex content great!

However it was not the lack of computers or noise that distracted the objective desired to aid the learning process.

Where excitement is generated to the degree you described.

The brain pattern will settle in the colour noise pattern emotion segment of the hemisphere.
Maybe left maybe right. Logical thinking is at it's lowest in this mind-set.

A series of memory tasks set out before beginning would have helped you to gain maximum benefit in memory retention.
RayTrevor Twine


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