Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Voki Girl

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Book Cover

Why don't Students Like School?
I choose this image because I thought it showed a student who was completely overwhelmed and bored by school.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Summary Reflection Post by Matt Donnelly

The Book Why Don't Students Like School had many good ideas. I enjoyed section 3 the best. Chapters 4 and 5 explained several important facts to know when teaching students. The key to learning is practice; it helps the retrieval of information. I realized that memorization is short term and is hard to retrieve. This chapter also explained that many abstract ideas are hard to understand.

For the most part, I enjoyed reading the book. It was easy reading and reinforced some of my own thoughts. I learned several new ideas and will be looking forward to using them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Section 3 Chapter 4 Pg. 87-104

Why Is It So Hard For Students To Understand Abstract Ideas?

This Chapter explained various teaching styles to remember what is taught. There are several very important facts to know when teaching students. Such as, students will remember what they are thinking about while you are explaining the lesson, relate new ideas to stuff we already know, give examples, compare examples, understand information, transfer old knowledge to new problems, and practice is the most important thing for retaining information. The author also discusses Rote Knowledge, Shallow Knowledge, and Deep Knowledge. This chapter explains that many abstract ideas are hard to understand and concrete information becomes familiar.

Chapter 5 Pg. 104-126

Is Drilling Worth It?

Chapter 5 stressed the importance of practicing. Drilling and practice is to gain competence and to improve. The more capacity you have will make you a better thinker. Automatic process is important because it does not overload your working memory. Working memory is limited in space and you cannot remember everything in working memory. Memorization is short term and would be hard to retrieve. This is why cramming for a test might get you through that test but you won't remember the answer tomorrow. The best way to learn a subject is to spread practice time out so you do not get bored. The correct amount of practice will make you remember information automatic.

Book Cover

I chose this book cover because many students become frustrated with technology and different teaching styles/strategies.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Section 2 Summary

Background Knowledge Matters
In this section, it is explained that working memory has a limited capacity so we need to "chunk" info together. Factual knowledge in long term memory allows chunking, and this increases space in working memory. This allows us to better relate ideas and increase our comprehension.
Background knowledge is important to reading comprehension 1)it provides vocab; 2) it allows you to bridge logical gaps that writers leave; 3)it allows chunking; 4) it guides the interpretation of ambiguous sentences.
Since most reading instruction through 3rd grade focuses mostly on decoding - that is what reading tests emphasize. When 4th grade rolls around, tests now are focused on comprehension. Comprehension depends on background knowledge, and that's where kids from privileged homes have an edge. They come to school with a bigger vocabulary and more knowledge abouth the world than underprivileged kids. And because knowing things makes it easier to learn new things, the gap between privileged and underprivileged kids widens.
Background knowledge makes you a better reader and also a good thinker because memory is the cognitive process of 1st resort. Factual knowledge improves your memory. We remember much better if something has meaning and we can then add new info about that topic to our memory.
If you want to be exposed to new vocab and new ideas, the places we need to go are books, magazines, and newspapers. Television, video games, Internet content that students do lean toward are unhelpful. Do whatever you can to get kids to read. Books expose children to more facts and to broader vocab than any other activity. Data indicates that people who read for pleasure enhoy cognitive benefits throughout their lifetime.
We, as teachers, need to "make content interesting." Teachers need to interact with students ina way that they find engaging. The emotional bond between students and teachers, for better or worse --accounts for whether students learn. Connecting personally with students and organizing the material in a way that moakes it interesting and easy to understand should be of high importance in our daily teaching.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Bored

I chose this book cover image because I think kids are bored in school and not challenged enough. We as teachers need to involve more technology into our classrooms and get the kids involved in their own learning so they can take ownership of their learning.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

In chapter on of Why don't students Like School, DanielT. Willingham introduces us to the principle that the mind is not designed for thinking. Only a small portion of the brain is designed for thinking. Willingham stresses that our thinking system is slow, uncertain, and effortless, so instead of utilizing our thinking system we rely on our memory system. Memory guides many of our behaviors, so we are not required to think/ Though the human mind is not good at thinking, it likes to think and the conditions have to be right to engage our curiosity or we quickly lose interest. When engaged in thinking and solving a problm threee factores become involved; environment, working memory, and long term memory. These factors are essential for problem solving. Then problem solving, conten is what engages our curiosity and keeps the brain interested in learning. The challenge to educators is introducing the content in a manner that challenges students' cognitive ability without exceeding their ability level causing the to lose interest. This creates a unique challenge for educators to develop curriculum that's relevant and challenges all students at their cognitive ability levels to solve problems. The mental work has to provide students with a personal pay off when solving problems to keep students excelling academically. So the challenge to educators is to create curriculum that taps into students' memory and prior knowledge to guide their thinking when problem solving but below their ability and not too advanced for their ability.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book Cover

I haven't read the book "Why Students Don't Like School", but I am guessing it refers to digital natives. I picked this image, as my book cover, to show that as educators we need to move beyond the blackboard and into the world of technology.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Welcome to Literature Circle Twenty-six!

Your Super Summarizer schedule is as follows:

Section One--Due October 28, Janine Catlett
Section Two--Due November 4, Bonnie Dowling
Section Three--Due November 11, Matt Donnelly
Section Four--Due November 18, Becky Lowe
Section Five--Due December 2, TBA
Section Six--Due December 9, TBA