I teach high school Biology with mixed-grade(9-12) students, all of my students are from mainland China or Taiwan, most of them are from socioeconomically well-off families because the tuition fee for my school is relatively high compared with public schools in China.
Setting high-performance expectations for students is one of the most important dynamics in teaching. So here I would like address how I will do this for my students:
- Changing my mindset, really believe in students. Students are very sensitive and smart, if you don’t believe in them in high academic performance, they can feel it, there is no way you can hide it and pretend you believe in them. For my class, I have a few low-performing students who are always disorganized and don’t do their work for the class. Originally I kind of give up on them because I think they are being lazy and refuse to work hard to bring changes to their academic performance, and my opinion about them also shaped their thinking about themselves about being a slacker in the class. I have to really change my opinions about them first so they can start feeling the high expectations from me and maybe change their mindset about what type of students they are. For one or two students, I think I will need to talk to some of them individually to convey my expectations for them and help them identify the barriers of their academic success. Sending them a message that together we can achieve success.
- Doing more Project-Based Learning (PBL). I went through all the required study and reference material part, one word got stuck in my mind: PBL, which gives me an illusion that the activity is all about PBL. All the videos and materials made realize PBL is one of the best methods for creating high-performance learning environments for students. In doing PBL, we are not only engaging the students but also empowering them. Students feel they are in control of their own learning, they are trusted and feel more confident about themselves in learning. Also, students cooperate and collaborate to solve real life problems, this is like building a bridge between the knowledge in the ivory tower and the real world. Students can learn how to function in the real world, teaching and learning are not just the teacher talking and lecturing in the classroom.
- Adopting more physical movements in the learning process. This idea is from the whole brain teaching and learning video. I do agree with the idea of physical movement enhancing the activity of the brain. I will try to use some of the strategies such as raise both of your hands give yourselves ten fingers as an encouragement. I also think the fast reading part from the whole brain learning is a good idea of creating a positive learning environment for the students and I will probably use it. But the format is not very clear to me since I am not sure what are the students reading in the video (it sounds like letters), I think what I can do with my students for this strategy will be reading one paragraph from the lesson together with your partner, so the students will be reading key vocabularies to each other in turns of one word at a time, but there will be one problem about how to keep the team on track and talking about the topic or reading from the textbook.
In conclusion, I think Project-Based Learning is the best strategy out of all the methods I learned in the activity for creating high-performance environments for the students. And I will absolutely be using it to the largest extent to benefit my own students.
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- “3Rd Grade Chinese–Math Class.Avi”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.
- “Whole Brain Teaching Richwood High – The Basics”. YouTube. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.