Sunday, June 1, 2014

How Do I Learn and Some Reflecting

How do I learn? That's a really big question. I guess I like to learn by doing and trying. Looking at an activity that's put in front of me and actually physically engaging in it. In our discussions at our table, we talked about some of the different ways we learn. Some of them are doing, seeing, acting it out, revisiting the task and reflecting on the process of what was just done. 
Does this mean our students learn the same way? Is it something we've taught them over the years or do all people learn in these ways? These are important questions I'm trying to figure out. 
The most effective way for me to learn is by making mistakes and reflecting on why I made that particular mistake. After reflecting, I can then go and fix what went wrong and work on not making the same mistake again. 
When we did the knot activity last time we were together, I don't think I did it the correct way by actually making the knot, I just made the design of the knot. In the end does it really matter because I know I learned that I need to make mistakes in order to learn. 
I try to be reflective after a days work with the students by asking myself; How did the lesson go? Did they understand what the point of the lesson was? What could I have done differently? Where do we go from here? What could I possibly do differently next time? And even many more questions. What I don't do a lot of the time is actually write down my reflections and keep track of the changes I need to make regarding my lessons. Maybe I need to do a better job of this especially with the changes I am wanting to make regarding my work with 21st Century Competencies and how I want to embed them into my lessons and investigations. The other area I am discovering I need work in is inquiry.
I think I understand it but when I visit other places like The Genesis Learning Centre in Edmonton, AB I realize I've got some work to do. At first I wasn't okay with this but you've got to take a step back and realize you can't make ALL the changes in your classroom in a short amount of time. Baby steps are important. Asking quality questions is also important. I worked on that this week and it was difficult for some of my students to come up with answers to those questions. One of them I used during writer's workshop was, Why do you think this is a good piece of writing? The student just looked at me blankly and thought and thought. At that time, I realized I needed to be asking them to really think in this way so I've got some work to do. 
It appears as though learning is an ongoing process which requires us to be reflective and thoughtful about what we ask and why we're asking the questions we do. Inquiry is an area I need to improve upon and work towards more critical thinking and asking quality questions of my students. I guess I better get to work. 

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