Chapters 3 and 4
Summary: Anne begins the chapter by explaining that if a teacher doesn’t understand the expectations of an assignment then the students will be confused as well, she also explains that each student learns at a different rate and all have different learning styles as well. Anne then continues to explain what a learning destination is. She elaborates the importance of making sure the parents, students and anyone who is taking part in the class knows what outcomes are going to be reached in the unit and what the students will be doing.
Connection: I remember in my high school days, my teacher would always keep us students in the loop to where we were headed with our lessons. This way, whether it was a final project or an exam, we could make notes and keep on top of things so we were organized in the end and weren’t always asking our teacher what was going on. Not once during my high school career I had a teacher send home a note explaining what was going on or what would be the end goal/things accomplished during that unit. Perhaps during elementary school it happened because those years are more important to get a good learning “base”, but never once were the parent informed in any way during my high school experience.
Critique: I agree and disagree with this chapter. I understand the importance of making sure you as a teacher knows the assignments so that the student will clearly understand it too, but what I don’t understand is why would a teacher do something that they can’t comprehend and give it to their students to figure out? That doesn’t sound like a responsible teacher in my eyes. As for the learning destination, I believe that it’s important for the students to understand where things are going. As stated above, I knew that at the end of the unit I would have either a test or a project and I could keep that in mine while we were learning things day by day. What I think though, it might be a little difficult to let the parents know each time you begin a new unit, how things are going to be. Unless a teacher has a blog with the assignments and end goal, it might be a little hard to send out a letter each time something comes around. I understand that parents need to stay in the loop of what their kids are doing, but maybe the kids could keep them updated instead of the teachers responsibility from time to time.
Summary: In the beginning of this chapter, Anne continues to explain how students vary in their learning process and style. She then explains to us the importance of including examples and samples of previous assignments done so that students can have a “starting base” for their work and know where they should be headed for their final results, or can be used to help make up new criteria for their project. She elaborates off those ideas and continues to say how showing students sample work, or even keeping old work of current students work, can be a great way for the students to see their progress and how they grew over the learning period/compare to where they should be.
Connection: We had this exact discussion in class this past week. Lots of us agreed that it would be a great idea to show samples, this way the students know where they need to be headed and won’t feel lost while trying to figure out what to do. My teacher Tracy even said that she has done this before and she gets a lot of great feedback and it helps her students take more time and effort into the project and helps her as a teacher as well. The only downside to this that we came up with was that showing students samples/examples of previous work is that it will diminish the creativity and imagination of students. Since they are given an example, they might feel like their work needs to be a lot like that in order to get a good grade. What a teacher should do here is encourage the students to use this as a guideline, still make the project their own way.
Critique: I loved this chapter. I am all for showing examples/sample assignments just to make sure each student is on the right page. Each student wonders what his/her teachers expectations are for the assignment given, so what better way to show your expectations than to provide your students with previous years projects to see where they should be headed. The only difficult situation about this is if you were a first year teacher. How can one provide examples/samples of things when they have never taught before? I am guessing one could talk to other teachers and get their help but mainly one will have to wait after a few years of teaching in order to have their own examples.