Thursday, February 3, 2011

If you had the choice, what would you learn about?

Thinking about curriculum is beginning to upset me.  I'm having these horrible thoughts like "am I really teaching the students?" or "am I really teaching what matters?" or, worse, "will they be able to perform well on the SAT because of what I taught?"

Ugh.  Surely some things are working, right?  I think my learning goals and objectives are well-aligned with "state benchmarks" and the school's mission.  Perhaps some of you don't even realize that when you're working through a lab or experiment, you are improving your problem-solving skills!  The science fair has started, and you are, in groups or solo, working through obstacles in your thought processes and adjusting your procedures to work perfectly.  My sneaky hope is that you'll become better scientists and more "tuned in" and interested in science!  

Another last thing that works, at least in my science classroom, is the wide variety of assessments and computer activities.  Be honest, how many days of class have you had with me where we didn't use the MLTI laptops?  Even some of our assessments (quizzes, exams, lab reports, etc.) are online!  I have to tell you, I really wanted to use NoteShare for lab reports, but I just couldn't get it up and running in time... maybe next year!  Even so, I'm pretty excited about how labs are going in class.  I'm wicked excited to start doing some fruit fly work (see attached video) as we start rolling into genetics and natural selection!

One last thing I want to talk about is what I know: personalized learning in the science classroom.  I think you kids can comment on this more than I can, so feel free to post below!  I hope that I am doing my best for all of you, and, despite the numerous things that don't work in a given school system, that I am giving you the very best of scientific information.  You may not know all of the things I do in a daily class/lesson, but I work very hard to customize the learning.  I know that not everyone wants to learn about the cell cycle, and I know that not everyone wants to learn about the intricate and specific mechanisms behind cell signaling.  But for those that do want to know these things, I try to keep it interesting and varied.  I also try to keep things riveting for the kids that aren't exactly fascinated by this stuff.  Because, who knows?  You may learn something new that you never thought you would find so cool!

So I come back to the question in this title:  if you had the choice, what would you learn about?  Teachers are faced with fulfilling a curriculum based on many different things.  Sometimes it seems as though it is not really about your needs, wants and desires.  This is an open-ended question, and one that I want you to answer honestly.  I'm not going to give you any suggestions on how to answer, I just want you to think about the question.  Another way: if money were not an option, and you could learn at your own pace, what would you go to high school to learn about? (Or middle school.)  And, if you care to elaborate... what would your schedule be like?

Click here to answer anonymously!

video


1 comment:

  1. Mrs. M...great questions. Do you have any student responses to these questions?

    And, which of these questions you posed is the most important?

    I'm having these horrible thoughts like "am I really teaching the students?" or "am I really teaching what matters?" or, worse, "will they be able to perform well on the SAT because of what I taught?"

    ReplyDelete