Archive for the 'Essential question' Category

A very useful QR code generator for Mobile Learning (mlearning)

I  use   Create QR code     as my QR code generator for my classes for several reasons:

I can

1) Put in a variety of information such as text and links.  I can embed an essential questions along with links for thinking about the question.

2) Put in many  links/urls.   I often have 5 or more links  in one QR code so that students have a range of choices or a range of resources. (Yes, I’ve shortened the URL.)  This QR code generator creates  a book with many pages while many other QR generators create a book with one page.

3) Select  the size of the QR code.   Sometimes I have manually resized a QR code and that code could not be read.  Students  create a “poster”  demonstrating their answer to an essential question. This poster can be a regular size sheet of paper  with many labeled  small QR codes.

Link to Tuttle’s Formative Assessment books

Advertisement

Looking Ahead For Better Learning

I attended my every three year Defensive Driving Course to get a reduction in my insurance. The AAA instructor and the DVD said that we should always be looking 20-30 seconds ahead on the road or about a third of a mile forward so we can be prepared for what is ahead.

I wonder how often we take our eyes off of our current learning to remind ourselves and our students of what is ahead, the standard. It is too easy to get focused on the moment so that we forget where we are really headed. By being focused only on the present activity, we may not connect our present activity into the bigger picture. The present activity may not seem to serve any purpose except when seen in the bigger picture. When students know where they are headed, they are more likely to get there and to be able to assess their progress. As we check what is ahead, we can help modify our instruction to make sure our students get there.

How do you help your students to see the standard or the big concepts of the year?

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Meaningful Learning for Students

A squirrel got in our basement. He is hiding and will not come out.

I wonder how often students get trapped in our classes. They attend and they do the mandatory work. They eat away at all the homework.  I wonder how often they get motivated by the learning to come out of their “do not bother me” hiding place.  Do they see the classroom learning as critical to the lives?  “When am I ever going to use this in my life?” How do we constantly show them the big picture of their learning so that they see how it does relate to their lives?   One high school teacher I know teaches themes (reality/illusion; fantasy love/real love; work/ideas) that are important to his students through literature. Each piece of literature helps his students to deal with their current and future lives.  I’ve heard of a  science teacher who  incorporates his class science into household science so that the students see science as part of their daily lives.

How do you relate your course to your students’ lives in a real way, not a “someday you’ll need it” way? Do they want to learn your subject because it means something to them now?

Oprah’s Book Club, A New Earth, and Classroom Education

I have attended two of Oprah’s online book club sessions on Tolle’s A New Earth. I am fascinated with how Oprah selects to present information. Other than the face shots of Oprah and Eckhart, there were two screens of quotes from the book. Then there were various people who are skyping in, emailing in (Oprah reads their email), and phoning in.

I am struck by several aspects.

When there is a compelling topic, there is no need for a “three ring circus” to keep people interested. Do we have compelling topics in our classes? Do we have essential questions that are really essential to students’ lives? The battles of the US Civil War are not critical but the differences that cause wars (personal, national, and international) is a critical understanding.

Words have to be carefully chosen to convey a precise meaning. Eckhart uses words like “form” and “ego” very precisely. How carefully do we select our words in the classroom or do we “wing” it? Have we planned out a powerful verbal or visual script that guides our students in their learning? Are our words so precise that students can see differences in concepts?

Big ideas need to be accompanied by vivid examples so that the ideas become “visible”. How do we take the big ideas/concepts in our subject area and make them visible to our students through concrete examples? Do we have a story, a visual, an emovie, or some technology to show that depicts the big idea?

Podcasts: Let Students Question and Let Listeners Learn

Podcast Questions

Most podcasts do not invite the listener to think about the topic. The listener is passive. The podcast seems more like a lecture than a dialogue.

The students can start off the podcast with an essential question about the topic or a critical problem such as “What impact is global warming having on you?”and then pause for about five seconds for the listener to think about the topic.

Your students can use a Question and Answer format about this higher level thinking topic. “Were you hotter than usual last summer?” “Was it due to a weather pattern or global warming?” Then they can give some possibilities about why it might be global warming. They can ask another question and offer some possible answers. They can frame their answers in the form of questions such as “Could it be….?” or “What does this image show you about the effects of global warming?”

You will have to model this format for the students and have them practice it. A good starting point is for them to identify what questions they have the topic and its impact on their lives.

Let’s change podcasts from boring mini-lectures to engaging thought provoking learning.This way not only do the students producing it learn the content to a high level of thinking but the listener also does. Share some examples of how your students cause others to think and question.

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007

——————–


Blog Stats

  • 805,279 hits