Reading Response 2

In the article, “Creating “Stickiness” Through Experiential Learning in Middle School Science Classrooms”, Ardito, Evans & Kim (2015) mentioned the quote from Kafai & Resnick (1996) stating, “ Children don’t get ideas; they make ideas.” This quote really stuck out to me. After reading about informal and formal learning from last week’s article, I feel like this quote really supports the importance of informal learning. This made me think about how important it is to create student-centered assignments that allow students to discover and make authentic connections to learning.

In chapter 9 of the text, Brown and Knowles (2014) discuss curriculum and what it really is in middle school. This stuck out to me because in my first new teacher meeting, the principal discussed how they don’t really have a curriculum or believe in a specific curriculum. She emphasized on how teaching shouldn’t be timed and exact, like EngageNY sometimes expects you to do. You can’t expect students to learn a new concept every day and every lesson. Some lessons take more than one day and can take up to three periods. Brown and Knowles (2014) defined curriculum as the total experience of students at school including planned and unplanned events.  They also shared that curriculum includes the curiosities in the lives of these students, in this class. This stuck out to me because every curriculum will be different every year, not because of the content, but because of the social, emotional, physical, and academic needs of your unique group of students.

 

I never heard of the program Scratch before, but after reading about it and playing around with it myself, I can see how it is an effective tool for learning. The interactiveness, cartoons, and having students embed content into their presentation seems to be very effective for authentic learning. “The ease of use of the Scratch interface allows students to relatively quickly practice their content knowledge in a meaningful way that is visually pleasing.” ( Ardito et al., 2015). If I were a student, this would feel like playing a video game. It would grab my attention and keep me engaged and eager to return to class the next day. This is something that inspires the way I want to teach. I think I could create sticky experiences in my classroom in many ways. Because math interactions are very common in our day to day lives, I feel like I can make it authentic and relatable to my students. I remember doing one lesson, where I had students finding unit rates. Students had to go online shopping for a jersey for their own sports team. Students really enjoyed designing their jersey while finding out how much per person the jersey would cost. Because it was authentic and relatable to them, students were able to find mastery in unit rates by the end of this activity.

 

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Rebecca,

      I was really struck by your response to these readings. As usual, you dig in fairly deeply and work to connect what you are reading to your own practice as an educator.

      This really stuck out for me:

      They also shared that curriculum includes the curiosities in the lives of these students, in this class. This stuck out to me because every curriculum will be different every year, not because of the content, but because of the social, emotional, physical, and academic needs of your unique group of students.

      I feel like I want to add this to every syllabus I teach. If I do, I will make sure the quote is attributed to you.

      • Rebecca Italiano
        Rebecca Italiano

        Aw THANKS!!! No problem :)

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