Friday, October 31, 2014

Blog Post #11

What Can We Learn About Teaching and Learning:
cartoon student using a computer

This week, we watched a series of videos from a variety of teachers.  Each of these videos provided great insight into the ideas of teaching and learning.

The first video, which was Back to the Future, was fantastic.  I enjoyed how Mr. Chamberlin taught his second language, at risk students through project based learning and technology.  As I watched Mr. Chamberlin's video progress, I actually forgot he was teaching second language learners.  The accomplishments these students made and the excitement they had for learning made you think they were never at risk.  This showed me that engaging students through projects that they find meaningful can truly transform the outlook of a student.  It helps the students have a learning experience that will stay with them as well.

The next video was The Blended Learning Cycle.  Mr. Anderson shared with us his classroom strategy which is using "quivers."  This is a system where he begins with a good driving question, follows with an inquiry, than a video, explanation, review, and finally a summary quiz.  His idea is interesting, but the one thing that really stood out to me was how important a good driving question is.  Mr. Anderson explained that a great driving question is what will hook a student into wanting to investigate more.

Making Thinking Visible, for me, is a video that shows how allowing students to reflect on their learning experience is important.  The students in this video write down a headline on something they have been thinking about.  After two weeks and a final project, they will write a new headline and reflect on how their thinking has changed through the learning process.  Using this process allows students to have a more personal insight to how they are thinking and learning.

Sam Pane's 4th Grade Video was awesome to watch.  Not only was the lesson on being a digital citizen wonderful, but it showed project based learning and how effective it can be in the classroom.  The parts that stood out to me was how Mr. Pane used the comic book feature to allow the issue to become relevant to the student.  He also allowed the students to view each other's work.  The students did express how they enjoyed being able to see other ideas.

In the video Project Based Learning, I saw again how powerful using this strategy of learning can be. Students had the chance to create a project that they were proud of because they could take ownership of what they were working on.  The topics were also allowed to be covered more in depth because of this type of teaching.

The final video was Roosevelt Elementary's PBL Program.  One of the biggest ideas that stood out in this video is that students have a chance to truly show that they understand a topic.  They did not just pass a test.  Instead, the students have a chance to share the in-depth knowledge they have learned.  What was also interesting about this video is hearing how they parents feel about their children using project based learning.


  1. Great Blog! I enjoyed the back to the future video and the blending learning cycle. I would want to use this in my classroom the most. They are more focused on what the student then what his or her test scores are.