Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chapter 10 QTC's...

Chapter 10
Which of the learning activities/skills can you think of that lend themselves to learning through modeling?
I think most behaviors can be learned through modeling. I don't think that simply modeling a specific behavior or skill once or twice will lead students to learn new behaviors, however I do think modeling some level of a desired skill or activity constantly will reinforce the learning on other levels. Modeling mixed with other forms of learning with both create an authentic form of instruction that students can watch and relate too as well as better understand through watching. 
How might self-efficacy and self-regulation contribute to the intervention plans you use in your case study?
Self efficacy and self regulation are important aspects of learning and learning competency. For the early childhood case study involving Willard, I think it would be important to embrace his attention span and help him focus in other ways. I might allow Willard to stand while working on  various assignments rather than sit so that he can fidget and move and hopefully maintain some level of concentration. Once Willard sees that he is able to focus standing, hopefully his self efficacy will improve and he will want to try and focus while sitting down. This will require some level of concentration and self regulation. It will be hard for Willard, as such a young child, to learn to self regulate but I do think that once he finds a certain level of pride in doing what is expected of him, the natural next step will be for him to change his behavior to keep feeling that sense of pride.

Chapter 9 Questions to Consider...

How would you define successful mastery of your lesson objectives from a behavioral view of learning?
I would conduct a task analysis. This would both identify goals and objectives for instruction, as well as show topics and skills. There are three different methods for doing this. The first is a behavioral analysis. This identifies the specific behaviors required to perform a task. The second is a subject matter analysis. This breaks down the subject matter into specific topics, concepts and principles, The third is an information processing analysis. This specifies the cognitive processes involved in a task. All of these processes could identify specific behaviors and show mastery of various lesson objectives.
Consider your CSEL intervention case study.  Are there tools from a behaviorist view for either encouraging productive behaviors or discouraging undesirable behaviors that you could apply to the case?  What are they?
I think the most important aspect of encouraging desirable behaviors is to set the ground rules in the very beginning. The end results- the terminal behaviors- will ultimately derive from the ground rules and behaviors set in the beginning. It is harder to change a behavioral habit then to simply encourage a continued good behavior. Another important aspect to consider is to encourage positive behaviors by consistently reinforcing them. To discourage unwanted behaviors, I would notify the students of desired and undesired behaviors ahead of time so that I could address the misbehaviors appropriately. I also think administering punishment privately is always the best bet.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thoughts on teacher our project...

Our teacher project was immensely fun! I expected it to be much more nerve wrecking than it actually was and Danny and I actually quite enjoyed ourselves. The feedback we received from the class was both beneficial and positive and helped us evaluate our performance. I am looking forward to the next teacher project!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chapter 8 QtC's

Chapter 8
Consider a lesson plan you might use.  Which metacognitive skills/abilities are involved as students gain facility/knowledge in this domain?

Here is a lesson plan I might use to teach the fundamental element of art and design: color. 
Class Level: Art 1
Overview and Purpose:  To expose students to the element of art, color.  To teach students the principles of color theory and practice.. 
NC Art Standards Addressed: Goals 1.07, 2.01, 2.02, 3.01
Materials:tempera paint, gray drawing paper, graphite pencils, objects of students choosing
Objectives:  The student will learn the concept of color.  The student will learn the concept of color theory.  The student will learn the concept of color schemes.  The student will learn how to effectively use the color wheel.
Delivery of info:  The teacher will present the concepts of color theory including the color wheel, color values, and color schemes.  Students will paint a color wheel, and complete color theory worksheets. The teacher will then introduce the assignment.
Guided Practice:  Students will bring in objects that they would like to use in their artwork.  If the student fails to bring in objects, the teacher may choose to assign objects to students. The student will draw the object from observation.  The teacher should encourage the student to draw the object from many different angles and try to create the illusion of space on the surface.  The student will then divide the paper into three sections.  The student will then paint the different sections with a different color scheme of their choosing.  The teacher should encourage the students to use a full range of value in their artwork. When finished, the student should write the specific name of the color scheme (monochromatic, analogous, etc.) used on the back of the paper. 
Review: Lineshapevalue
Estimated Duration: 10 Days

One metacognitive skill used in this lesson plan is self-explanation. By having the students paint their desired color scheme and then label and write about it, they are testing themselves and internalizing what they have learned. Most of the skills used in this lesson plan will be overt strategies because the students will be physically practicing, testing, and utilizing their knowledge. After the lesson is complete, the students could write a summary of the material they studied which would in turn enhance their memorization of the various components of color theory. In the beginning of the lesson, while the teacher is presenting the material, the students could take detailed notes about the presentation. What is most important for the students to comprehend would be highlighted accordingly so that the students could identify the important information. 

Think of an activity or lesson component that explicitly teaches one or more metacognitive and one or more problem solving skills.

Writing the specific name of the color scheme on the back of the painting and providing a description would teach the students the metacognitive skill of creating a summary. This would enhance the students learning and memory and help them distinguish between important and unimportant information. A problem solving skill used could be a heuristic. As the students paint their pieces, they would soon come to realize which colors created a specific color scheme and which are successful and which are unsuccessful. Asking students to create a list of potential changes they would make to create a more successful color scheme would enhance this problem solving process. 

I found this website: that offered some interesting insight into how to teach problem solving skills.
Below is a bit from the website that I found useful. 

Teaching Problem Solving

Tips and Techniques


  • Have students identify specific problems, difficulties, or confusions. Don’t waste time working through problems that students already understand.
  • If students are unable to articulate their concerns, determine where they are having trouble by asking them to identify the specific concepts or principles associated with the problem.
  • Make students articulate their problem solving process.
    • In a one-on-one tutoring session, ask the student to work his/her problem out loud. This slows down the thinking process, making it more accurate and allowing you to access understanding.
    • When working with larger groups you can ask students to provide a written“two-column solution.” Have students write up their solution to a problem by putting all their calculations in one column and all of their reasoning (in complete sentences) in the other column. This helps them to think critically about their own problem solving and helps you to more easily identify where they may be having problems.
      Two-Column Solution (Math)

      Two-Column Solution (Physics)

Encourage Independence

  • Model the problem solving process rather than just giving students the answer. As you work through the problem, consider how a novice might struggle with the concepts and make your thinking clear
  • Have students work through problems on their own. Ask directing questions or give helpful suggestions, but provide only minimal assistance and only when needed to overcome obstacles.
  • Don’t fear group work! Students can frequently help each other, and talking about a problem helps them think more critically about the steps needed to solve the problem. Additionally, group work helps students realize that problems often have multiple solution strategies, some that might be more effective than others

Be sensitive

  • Frequently, when working problems, students are unsure of themselves. This lack of confidence may hamper their learning. It is important to recognize this when students come to us for help, and to give each student some feeling of mastery. Do this by providing positive reinforcement to let students know when they have mastered a new concept or skill.

Encourage Thoroughness and Patience

  • Try to communicate that the process is more important than the answer so that the student learns that it is OK to not have an instant solution. This is learned through your acceptance of his/her pace of doing things, through your refusal to let anxiety pressure you into giving the right answer, and through your example of problem solving through a step-by step process.

Expert vs. Novice Problem Solvers

Experts (teachers) in a particular field are often so fluent in solving problems from that field that they can find it difficult to articulate the problem solving principles and strategies they use to novices (students) in their field because these principles and strategies are second nature to the expert. To teach students problem solving skills, a teacher should be aware of principles and strategies of good problem solving in his or her discipline.
The mathematician George Polya captured the problem solving principles and strategies he used in his discipline in the book How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method(Princeton University Press, 1957). The book includes a summary of Polya’s problem solving heuristic as well as advice on the teaching of problem solving.
“The teacher should put himself in the student’s place, he should see the student’s case, he should try to understand what is going on in the student’s mind, and ask a question or indicate a step that could have occurred to the student himself.”
– George Polya, How to Solve It