Back to Table of Contents for the On Course I Workshop

1. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: ED 216: Processes and Acquisition of Reading

Educator: Zeporia N. Smith, Faculty, Education, Montgomery College, MD

Implementation: In this class for future teachers of reading, I place learners in Home Groups of five members. I announce that each group will be contributing a one-page handout of strategies for teaching children to read.

Step A: Each member of a Home Group chooses to become the group’s expert in one of the following components of literacy development: 1) Phonics 2) Phonic Awareness 3) Vocabulary 4) Fluency 5) Text Comprehension. To develop expertise, students read the publication Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read available from the National Reading Panel.

Step B: Students meet in expert groups to discuss their findings, identifying the best strategies for teaching their chosen component of literacy development.

Step C: Upon returning to their home groups, students create a one-page handout that explains five teaching strategies, one for each of the five components of literacy development. After each group presents its handout to the class, all of the handouts are placed in a binder for future reference by this and future classes. </block>

2. Strategy: Wise Choice Process

Application: EDLDR 405: Classroom Learning Environments

Educator: Leigh Ann Haefner, Faculty, Education, Penn State University, PA

Implementation: Give students a scenario or case study of a young child acting out in an elementary (or any level) classroom. The behavior should model an act of frustration or boredom and result in what is perceived as off-task behavior. Have students then describe how they could facilitate this child through the Wise Choice Process. They should describe how they would work with the child to identify possible choices and likely outcomes. Since my students are learning to be teachers, this activity enables them to learn the process as well as how to use it as a tool with young learners.

3. Strategy: Next Actions List

Application: First-Semester Teacher Education Class

Educator: Heather Merrill, Faculty, Education, Glendale Community College, AZ

Implementation: Have students use the Next Actions List (NAL) to create a semester-by-semester plan to achieve their state certification. Instead of each box representing a Role, have them use each box as a semester. In Box 1, have them record the courses they are currently enrolled in. Next, have them discuss where they can get the information they need to fill in the remaining boxes on the way to their state certification. For example, they may seek information from the education advisor, the university they plan to attend, and/or the state department of Education web site. After gathering the information, students add this information to their NAL, including any related deadlines. They also include dates for when they will take their teacher exams, complete the fingerprint clearance process, do their student teaching, and submit their Application for certification to the state. Additionally, they must include the date they will apply to the University of their choice, the date they will apply to the college of education, and the expected date of graduation from that university. Under Miscellaneous, they also record such things as scholarship application deadlines, financial aid requirements, and professional development workshop dates.

4. Strategy: After Math (Case Study)

Application: Teacher Education Class

Educator: Judith Croteau, Faculty, Education, Heritage University, WA

Implementation: Classroom teachers (K-12) serve a diverse student population that comes with social-behavioral problems that manifest in behavior issues. This activity focuses on classroom management, and the objective is to help teacher candidates recognize emotional intelligence levels and be able to develop strategies that will positively changes students’ behavior. Teacher candidates present “After Math” with a readers’ theatre format. (Ideally, revise the case study so that the students in the case study are the age of students with whom the teacher-candidates will be working.) Create a group for each student in the case study and have each group complete a character analysis page as we did in the workshop, assessing the EQ of their character. Have a group spokesperson identify the score for their character along with specific behavior(s) that led to their assessment. For homework, have students read their text, looking for specific ideas about what the teacher could do with a student manifesting the behavior of the student in the case study. Groups present their suggestions in subsequent class(es).

5. Strategy: Silent Socratic Dialogue (A Variation)

Application: Teacher Preparation Advising

Educator: Livia Castilleja, Faculty, Education, Heritage University, WA

Implementation: The purpose of this activity is to help students choose their course of study carefully in the teacher prep program. Rather than using quotations as in the OCI Workshop, provide students with descriptions of the concentration choices available for elementary education endorsement candidates. Have students read the descriptions and choose the concentration they would like to study or work on for certification. After students have chosen the concentration, ask them to write a statement about their choice. Next, based on their statement, ask a question intended to cause them to think more deeply about their choice. Continue this question and answer dialogue until the student feels confident that his/her choice is a good one. Then proceed with registering the student for the chosen program.

6. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Early Childhood – Methods and Materials Course

Educator: Patricia Gridley, Faculty, Early Childhood, Cayuga Community College, NY

Implementation: The goal here is to help students understand how “learning centers” in the early childhood classroom are effective resources for reinforcing reading, writing, socialization, and content. Repeat this activity for each center: Blocks, Art, Science, Math, Reading, Socio-dramatic play.

Step A: Home Groups: Each student chooses the topic (reading, writing, socialization, content) about which s/he will become the group’s expert. They then study the resource material.

Step B: Expert Groups: Students meet with other experts to deepen their expertise and begin to create a written “fact sheet” to use to teach the topic to the home group.

Step C: Home Groups: Students return to their home group and take turns teaching what they have learned and sharing their “fact sheet.”

7. Strategy: Graduation Game

Application: Child Growth and Development

Educator: Karen Malaska, Faculty, School of Education, Montgomery College, MD

Implementation: In the Child Growth and Development class, students must complete at least 15 hours of observation of a child, take notes, and write a 15+ page case study. Most of the students get very anxious and a few even drop the course when they learn about this major assignment. To improve retention in the course as well as ease students’ anxieties, I use the Graduation Game to demonstrate how taking small steps and persisting helps them stay on track to complete the case study assignment. My objective is that students finish the course not only having the knowledge of child growth and development but also with the life lesson of self-management, self-motivation, personal responsibility and believing in themselves.

8. Strategy: Eagles and Hawks

Application: Child Growth and Development or Any Course

Educator: Karen Malaska, Faculty, School of Education, Montgomery College, MD

Implementation: I use “Hawks and Eagles” regularly in all of my classes to check for understanding. I post chapter review questions/concepts for the students to reflect upon and have them take turns “flying” to a different partner to ask and answer questions and explain concepts. You can have all students discuss one question or concept at a time, give one list of questions and concepts to Hawks and a different list to Eagles, or have one list of questions and concepts from which students can choose to ask/discuss at random. I find that this activity causes students to be more accountable for their own learning as well as learning from each other.

9. Strategy: Monthly Calendars and Success Groups

Application: Early Childhood Education or Any Course

Educator: Dede Marshall, Faculty, School of Education, Montgomery College, MD

Implementation: On Day 1 of the course, provide students with a course syllabus and a blank calendar. Homework (worth points) is to fill in the calendar with all assignments from the syllabus. On Day two, have student work in groups to brainstorm all of the possible obstacles that may cause them not to complete assignments on time. List obstacles on the board and have each student choose his/her biggest obstacle. Then form success groups according to common obstacles. Have each group brainstorm ways to overcome their obstacle and then report out to the whole class to provide new ideas for others. Subsequently, provide groups with 15 minutes of class time weekly to review how they are doing with their obstacles. If appropriate, have groups report to the class on their efforts and their results. Consider giving extra points to members of a Success Team that all turn in all of the assignments.

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