21st Century Learning Environment

In this week’s reading it discussed four strategies for helping students retain information.  These strategies are: make it sticky, draw from the past, repeat, repeat, repeat, and give positive feedback.  I use these strategies in my teaching by relating new concepts to the real world (make it sticky).  I like to connect concepts to real life in order to provide a reason for students to learn the material.  I also build upon what has already been taught (draw from the past).  This may be something I have already taught the students or something they have learned in the past which means I must collaborate with past teachers or teachers of other content areas to ensure I am building upon what has already been taught.  Providing various types of activities is important for making sure all learning types are being met.  I like to incorporate a variety of activities to include group work and independent work as well as activities that are visual, hands on, and have good discussions.  This provides ample opportunities for students to learn the material.  Lastly, I provide feedback often to my students.  During discussions I give feedback or other students give feedback after every comment.  When students are working in groups I visit each group to give feedback.  I also give ample feedback on any written assignments.  This includes monitoring students while working on the assignment to make sure they are on task and understanding.

The revisions to Bloom’s taxonomy have changed the way I look at each level.  Changing the wording from nouns to verbs has put more of an emphasis on what the students need to do rather than what the teacher should do/provide.  This makes each level much more clear to me.  It also makes it easier to see how the levels vary from lower to higher order thinking skills.  As a teacher it is important to include both types of thinking skills.  By identifying where the lesson’s activities fit in Bloom’s taxonomy teachers can develop better lessons.  

Two educational apps I like are Virtual Manipulatives (Link) and Duolingo (Link).  Virtual Manipulatives helps provide a hands on experience to math problems without having to buy a lot of materials.  By using manipulatives students are able to test hypothesis for ways to solve math problems.  This falls in the evaluating level of Bloom’s.  Duolingo is an app used to learn a new language.  Language is acquired by answering questions.  Some questions have visuals while others do not.  This app has you analyze and apply patterns to learn grammar and sentence structure.

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