Tuesday, November 11, 2008

almost done.

Ok friends, I'm very almost finished my degree I just have to get this last assignment done. I'm running on V limited amounts of sleep, locked away from the world and working like a demon. Something really neat that I've discovered I thought I might share with you. It's an educational thang called 'Power Teach':

Here we see it in action with a grade 6 group who have obviously had lots of practice at it. The class is loud, fast, active and fun. And they're just learning about order of operations. Its the way that they've been taught which is really interesting. Basically this type of teaching has been developed by Chris Biffle in the states and here are his main points:

Whilst I would find this quite confronting at first I'm sure I can see a lot of value in what he is trying to do with his classes. The things I love the most are:
  • - actions and gestures for kinaesthetic learners (and memory reinforcement for everyone else)
  • - peer discussions mean social learning is taking place, peer to peer AND teacher to student
  • - total involvement/participation at all times, not just the one student answering the questions
  • - short sharp points of attention ensure students are not being over drained or glazing over
  • - teacher has instantaneous feedback about what students are understanding by eaves dropping in peer to peer discussions. Also in classroom management, she knows who is listening/participating at all times
  • - work ethic and success standards are built into the approach and not a separate thing to address. Students can celebrate their achievements instantaneously, Hooray!
  • - use of voice and gestures includes tone and rhythm: created like a game/drama and communication.

So without more information or training I doubt I'd be giving this a shot any time soon but there are aspects of it that I would certainly take away. Like the use of peer to peer talk built in to break the lesson into shorter chunks. Although this makes me think of the only other class that I have observed where that was used on a regular basis with preps and they were all CRAZY talkative - sometimes to the point of utter frustration of the teacher. Could be worse though, imagine if they didn't develop those skills properly at all!