Home › Forums › Why Don’t Students Like School? By Daniel T. Willingham › Chapter 1 › Teaching
February 4, 2018 at 2:16 pm #223
As a teacher, what does this mean for our planning lessons this semester and in the future? What considerations will you make given this information? In what ways does it reinforce your beliefs or challenge you to change your thinking about teaching and learning?February 6, 2018 at 8:42 pm #232
For me personally, the biggest piece of information that i pulled from this chapter that i will take and implement in the future is the concept that we continue to think because of our curiosity. Keeping this curiosity alive in a classroom and within each student is essential to teaching. Building on this, finding the proper level of difficulty for each student is key. If material is too easy, a child will not be challenged, and thus will lack the curiosity and subsequent satisfaction that comes with solving a difficult problem. If material is too difficult, a child will be overly challenged and get frustrated, leading to them potentially giving up or losing interest entirely. Working with and closely monitoring students knowledge and progress is essential to establishing the level of difficulty they need to be working at. This might mean that instruction will be different between different groups of students, and that is okay. Subtly accommodating for the various levels that exist in a classroom is part of being an effective teacher. This is something that we must be aware of when writing and implementing lesson plans. All of this must be done while ensuring that students aren’t losing their curiosity about school subjects or the world around them.February 9, 2018 at 6:42 pm #252
This semester I am working with a small group of 3-5 year olds. With their little attention spans, it can be a challenge to hold their attention on a single activity. I will need to find the right amount of “changing the pace” for them without allowing them to leave from the current activity they are participating in. With them, it is also very apparent how thinking can be frustrating, most of them cry or refuse to work when an activity is difficult. It is my job to keep them curious, and praise them when they complete an undesired activity.February 10, 2018 at 9:27 am #253
Is this age group a new experience for you? You’re right that we have to keep them curious and positive about learning! Learning can be fun when it’s meaningful and engaging! What are some strategies you’re seeing that are working or not working?February 11, 2018 at 3:46 pm #269
As a teacher, I think that this plays a large role in the way that I am going to plan and implement my lessons. I think that planning a lesson takes into account so many different aspects. While planning, I think of interests, abilities, learning styles and what has worked well in the past and what has not worked well in the past. With this new knowledge presented in this chapter, I feel that I will make sure that I am understanding where the students are cognitively and where they are going to go next. I believe that students definitely need to be challenged by their work but I now know that it is also important for the students to receive those positive feelings when they are able to solve a problem. I want to have the right amount of challenging and engaging work for my students that helps them to learn while still wanting to see what we are learning next. This chapter has challenged my way of thinking about problems and the way to approach them in the classroom. It has reinforced my idea of a need for breaks and also a need of breaks from consistency. I want my students to feel comfortable with what they are walking in to in the classroom, but I also want them to continue to learn from new situations as well.February 12, 2018 at 7:17 am #275
I think a lot of lesson planning can be linked to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). As I read the chapter, I kept thinking about this theory a lot. You have to find that “sweet” spot. From the author’s perspective, lesson planning requires a lot of strategy in how to incorporate questions that are relevant, engaging, and challenging enough to engage. At the same time, scheduled brain breaks and recharding your batteries are just as important, if you don’t believe me, check out http://www.gonoodle.com I worked with a teacher who utilized that every day, particularly during Virginia Studies (fourth grade) and it really helped keep her students stimulated, because they were hitting the post-lunch drowsiness!
It is interesting how at the end of the chapter, he mentioned he would discuss tracking issues more in a later chapter. It makes me think back to an unsuccessful student teaching placement I had when I was studying social studies. I was teaching world geography to the “standard” class (for lack of a better term). A lot of these students were from lower-SES families and many of them had already planned their career choices in more blue-collar jobs (i.e. masonry, carpentry, etc.) That made it challenging for me, coming from an upper-middle class family where college was an expectation, but on top of that, how do you try and make the concepts of “polders” (check Wikipedia) relevant. When I think back now, I have the tools, that I think I could redo that lesson well, but back then I didn’t have the knowledge.March 4, 2018 at 4:32 pm #373
As I read this chapter, I had was constantly thinking about ways that I could apply this information as I teach this semester and in the future as an SLP. One of the main things that stuck with me is the idea of making sure that we are giving our students appropriate challenges and meeting each child where they are with their preparation. For my student teaching, I am often during speech and language therapy sessions with students who are at different levels. For example, in one group I have a student who is fairly advanced and working on /skw/ blends in phrases while the other student is working on /sp/ words. We have to make sure that we are giving appropriate challenges. Also, going off of what Sarah mentioned, I’ve realized the importance of changing the pace because preschoolers have such short attention spans! I have definitely found it helpful to switch games in the middle of the session to make sure that we stay focused.March 4, 2018 at 5:16 pm #381
We talk about “attention spans” a lot! What do we know about attention spans? What influences them? How long should we expect someone to attend? How long can you attend?March 18, 2018 at 8:36 pm #412
After reading the chapter, I instantly began reflecting on my past lessons that didn’t go as well and thought to myself, “Wow I’m so sorry to those children that I failed during those moments.” I was always ware of the different learning styles, activities, etcher children to earn, but I never was aware of how the brain may actually work. Knowing that every child is different and learns different, it has me somewhat nervous as a future teacher. Why? Because there are so many tings we unintentionally overlook or assume, not realizing that we are leaving out a student or two. When planning lessons now, I need to be aware of the prior knowledge the student already has. I need tone careful not to assume the a child may know something because it may be an everyday part of my life, but for them it may be unknown. I know I need to start implementing cognitive breaks when needed so I won’t lose a student.March 23, 2018 at 11:46 am #435
This chapter opened my eyes to a lot of new practices pertaining to planning future lessons. I now realize how crucial and particular each activity has to be to reflect the lesson being taught. Activities are a great way to enhance the student’s learning of the topic, but if (as the chapter stated) the activity is too difficult or too easy, the children will fall short with learning and/or grasping the new material. With this information, I will always check that the lessons and activities planned are grade level appropriate, and actually assists learning with the each of the students academic needs. This reinforces my personal teaching beliefs because with my elementary schooling experience, this was not always the case for me and in the long run it distanced myself from subjects I could have enjoyed with just the right amount of rigor.
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