Case 1 Roller Coaster Physics
This is really a good example of STEM, which combines science, engineering, and math learning together. Additionally, the teacher also set up this project to be real life based which the students have to budget their expenses for building the roller coaster model. It is really impressive and thought-provoking, especially for me as a science teacher. Although the video and the Glog are talking about the same topic they seem to be for different level students. Anyway, it is an awesome project-based learning example from which we can learn a lot. My Analysis will be based on the video, which is about 5th-grade students.
- Academic expectations: Apparently the teacher had a really high expectation for the students, she trusted 5th graders’ ability to design and create a roller coaster model which might be difficult even for adults. The teacher here was not the knowledge dispenser, but the facilitator. She believed students’ discussion and collaboration can sparkle and yield crystals of knowledge. She had full confidence of the students as a group can all play their roles and make their team work so they can successfully build the model.
- Behavior expectations: As one comment below the video said, “how are these 5th graders so serious, focused and on task! Please tell me there was at least one group rolling around on the ground and fooling around with all the tools for the project”. It also amazes me how focused the student were in the video, I know it’s a video and the teacher might select some good students and rehearsed the class a few times, but there is no deny that the teacher had positive behavior expectations for her students and she was getting rewarded by her students’ behavior
- Norms and Procedures: The teacher had procedures when she was distributing the materials for the project. However, besides that I don’t see too many procedures set in place, the teacher simply said “now let’s go and do the computer simulation for the roller coaster model”, and all the students went to the computer corner and sat down, there were not enough computers for every student, but they all sat down without the problem about who was going to control the computer. All the students had different roles in a group and I guess that can also be considered as one part of the norms and procedures.
Case 2 3rd Grade Chinese Math
The singing really triggered my old memory when I was in my primary school 25 years ago, I also learned how to sing the multiplication rhyme. I think it really helps Chinese kids and their math skills especially mental arithmetic skill. Now I can calculate my students’ final exam scores simply by combining different sections’ score in my mind while my foreign colleagues will have to do it with a calculator. But of course, the reason why Chinese students are doing better in the subject of math is much more complicated and comprehensive than just the multiplication rhyme.
- Academic expectations: The teacher was expecting the students to repeat after her and she believed they can do it, but as for how much the students understand about the content of the rhyme, I don’t think she has a clear expectation.
- Behavior expectations: Teacher was expecting the students to behave well in the classroom and all the kids are following her instructions.
- Norms and Procedures: She obviously has norms and procedures set in place for the students, such as put your hands on the back, the kisses, and the clapping encouragement for yourself. I think these procedures are really helpful for low elementary kids at a younger age.
Case 3 Whole Brain Teaching
This case reminds me one video I watched in one previous module which was a TED speech made by Sir Robinson. He stresses the importance of physical movement for learning, he said dancing class should be as important as math and English. It seems to me Whole Brain Teaching or Learning is also about this idea, your brain works the best when you activate all parts of your brain. I think for some people it does work better when you are physically moving, but maybe for some others, it will be better for learning when they are not moving.
- Academic expectations: In the video, I can’t quite tell the academic expectations of the teachers because it kind of makes me think she is treating 9th graders as kindergarteners, but I think she also believes in her students’ capability of academic achievement no matter what kind of method she is using.
- Behavior expectations: Undoubtedly, all her students are doing what she expected them to do, all of them are doing physical movements while they are repeating the teacher, interacting with each other and collaborating.
- Norms and procedures: She also did the Whole Brain Teaching for the classroom rules. She also has procedures set in place for the class (she shouted with a whispering voice and all the students followed and stopped discussing, she told the students to give themselves ten fingers as an encouragement). So these rules and procedures supported her students’ performance.
- “Roller Coaster Physics: STEM In Action”. Teaching Channel. N.p., 2017. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.
- “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.