Saturday, February 11, 2012

C4T #1 - Summary

Different Way of Teaching

The teacher I had, Mr. Kaechele, has a blog called Concrete Classroom. He doesn't post very often, but when he does, it is mainly about his new job as a high school PBL teacher, which he discusses in the first post I commented on. Before teaching, he poured concrete where he received bonuses twice a year. Now that he is a teacher, he gets rewarded by receiving compliments of his teaching style from his bosses. He prefers those better than money bonuses. I told his that I was happy for him and it just shows how teaching is different than the typical 9-5 jobs. It is a reward in itself. Of course the paycheck is nice, but it is also rewarding using your creativity to teach students and somebody recognizing and complimenting  your work.
PBL stands for Problem-Based Learning. I had never heard of this style of teaching before but Wikipedia broke it down into 7 main points for me:
- clarifying and agreeing on terms and concepts that are unclear
- define the problem and review terms which need more depth or explanation
- analyze, brainstorm and create potential hypothesis
- discuss, evaluate and organize possible explanations into potential hypothesis
- generate and prioritize learning objectives, divide research workload
- private study time to research objectives
- during next tutorial report back gained information, create an explanation and synthesize new      information in relation to the problem.
The second post I commented on pretty much was an example of how the classroom operated. These students are presented with a global problem, Genocide. As a class, they do research and the teacher provides main resources for them. On this project, one of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan went to their class as a guest speaker. They also discussed the Penn State Scandal. Then, the students broke into groups and had to create a mini-documentary. They also had to think of ways the stop this violence. All of his lessons are student-based approaches. I stated to him in my comment that I had never had a class in high school that was like this and it was all new to me. In the post, he stated that his student were getting confused about what actually “to do” and I told him that I agreed because when I was in high school, I never had to think so deeply into my school work.
Mr. Kaechele was very interesting and I hope he continues to enjoy his job and using his creativity for his students.

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