SBISD GT Book Study
While more of a "hmmm?" rather than an "ah-ha" moment...On page 83, the author discusses providing GT students with emotional support through a supportive classroom environment. This was done using stickers and monitoring individual progress for being proactive. Perhaps instead of having stickers monitoring individual progress I wondered if I could adapt the idea for all of my students to contribute to a communal spot…sort of the idea that every drop of kindness is adding to the communal bucket. When we got enough “proactive” recognition in our communal spot, we could celebrate our achievement. I don’t have it worked out; I think we have a relatively kind school. But I am intrigued with the idea of promoting proactive-ness.
The aha moment for me was -- page 85, where the author says that the students should be praised for the process rather than for product. It is important as educators we should understand it and praise the process so that the students are motivated to accept new challenges, and are not afraid of getting a wrong answer.
My "ah-ha" moment was also on page 85, where the author says that students should be praised for process rather than product. It was a relief to see this statement in print since with the MYP Design Cycle, process journal and rubrics focus much more on what the process is rather than the end "product." It is hard to get the students to see that shift of focusing on process over product. For those that make the shift earlier in the semester than others- I see a greater appreciation of their work quality and less sense of failure if a project does not turn out as previously imagined.
My "ah-ha" moment was also on page 85 where the author encourages the process of learning rather than focusing on the final product. I enjoyed reading about the variety of activities that can be implemented in the classroom to encourage active participation. Some of the ideas and strategies that I like include: questioning that encourages open ended responses, encouraging students to take chances and helping students understand how to become problem solvers.
In response to C. Wegsheid posted on February 20, 2011 at 8:35 pm, I also think that as educators it is important to help students focus on the process of their work rather than the end product. As students become more aware of the process they can better appreciate the quality of their work.
My Aha moment was on page 104 on working memory and how we can help students retain the working memory long enough to be able to move it to long term memory. As a math teacher, I always observe some students as being one day wonders and this section explains what I can do to help my students.
One of my "Ah-ha" moments relates to all students, not just gifted. On page 66 it says that students are often bored by lessons and tend to tune them out. This can happen if the lesson moves to slowly for the individual, it also happens when the material is beyond the students' comprehension. I believe that if a teacher is enthusiastic about the material, there is less of a chance that the students will be bored and tune out. I also found it interesting that it was scientifically proven that stress interferes with the brain taking in information (p. 69).I was not at all suprised, just glad to know that it is true.
I was very intrested in the section on page 69 explaining how stress inhibits output from the brain. With testing having such a large part of education I wonder how many students do not perform well simply due to stress.S. Agrawal, C. Wegs and Sra. Kirklin commented on the importance of the process instead of the product. I think this coordinates perfectly with what we have learned at MYP training.
My "ah-ha" moment came from page 69, when the physiological differences between adult and adolescent brains were compared in the amygdala regions.The book mentioned how the difference in the development of the amygdala causes a different response when the children and adults were shown the same pictures.I notice that in my own classes, teaching both middle school and high school levels. My middle school students are often more concerned about the emotional impact of certain lessons, while some of my more developed high school seniors find themselves more concerned with the social impact. It shows an interesting level of self-awareness. I had always attributed that awareness to upbringing and developmental maturity, rather than biology.
In response to C. Weg's comments on Feb 20th, 8:35pm-I too have noticed that it's a struggle for many students to understand the value of process over product. When students begin a year on an uneven footing, it can really affect their self-esteem. The constant failure generated by taking standard tests can force many students to withdraw and/or give up.Process, and the reasoning throughout that leads them TO the product, is just as important as the finished product itself. When students discover that truth, it often makes the educational process run smoother for them. The fear of failure is softened, and creativity can bloom.
I had many A-HA moments. I loved the part about multisensory input and how "experential" learning really can bring more meaning and a deeper meaning for learning.(pg. 117 and 118) I also like the memory retention ideas on pg. 119. I do try to do attention grabbing moments and feel novelty really helps. I am trying to find more ways in my lessons where students can make more connections to previously learned lessons. And this proves to be hard, as I have found that my students do not retain well and that there use of long term memory is sparse. But I realize now that it could be the way we teach that does not encourage them to learn items in a deeper way so that they do retain it for longer. I also need to incorporate more open-ended discussions with multiple responses and where the learners have more participation in the learning process. I find it hard to do this in math because so much of math is rote learning on the surface so finding ways to make those connections to increase a deeper learning is a challenge but is possible with some work and understanding how the brain works.
I too agree with Shelly Horne, C Wegs, Srta. Kirklin that the process is just as mportant to the product and not only does it line up with MYP but also CCP. Sometimes I race to the product but don't put enough emphasis on how to get to the product!
One of my "Ah-Ha" moments came on page 107 where the author discusses maintaining long-term memories. Willis states: "Once information is successfully learned and patterned into networks of relational memories, it still needs to be reviewed between four and seven times to assure long-term retention. Even with that repetition and mastery, if the memory is not periodically activated so that its neural network is electircally stimulated, the memory network will likely be pruned away." As teachers rush to get through the amount of material they are expected to cover I wonder if there is enough time given to move concepts into their long term memory. This is in no way the fault of the teacher who must make the difficult choice of moving on although some students still need more time to grasp certain concepts. As a classroom teacher I can remember reviewing students for their final exams and some students reacting to concepts I was reviewing as if they had never heard of it before. Obviously, I had not given those students enough time to move the concept into their long term memory.
My "Ah-ha" moment was on page 96 where the author discusses making specific positive comments about what the children are doing, not just the end product. I feel that ALL children, not just the GT students, would benefit from this type of praise. Too much emphasis is placed on what the final grade was on a test/project/course. As a child, my parents used to tell me that they would be just as proud of a B in a course as they would an A, as long as I gave 100% effort. I remember having to work my tail off to earn a B in my Spanish II class in high school. The pride I felt in earning that B stayed with me far longer than the A's I received for little or no work. I truly believe that praising a child for effort will teach them resilience in the face of adversity.
In response to Mrs. Oxspring, I feel that some of the reasons that you find it hard to fit in making deeper connections in math, is because of the pace of the math courses. However, I do believe that if we work past the rote memory from an early age, that truly deep understanding can be acheived in a fast paced curriculum. Too much is stressed on memorization of facts, without basic number sense knowledge. Could you imagine if students truly had a deep understanding of number sense, how easy your job would be by the time they reached you in Algebra and Geometry?
My "ah-ha" moment was more of a "oh-yeah"... don't forget that moment. On pages 84-86 there are several methods for helping GT students, such as being an active listener and acknowledging the accurate parts of their answers, then filling in the missing information. Asking open ended questions and making learning relevant also help to keep students engaged. There is so much in the curriculum we need to teach that sometimes I forget to think to include opportunities for students to think about the relevance of what we are studying. I liked the quote at the beginning of chapter 5. When students are involved in creating, they do remember longer and understand better.
I'm not sure why my identity changed... the above post is from Valerie H
I agree with Ms. Oxspring about the memory retention and the part about multisensory input and how "experential" learning really can bring more meaning and a deeper meaning for learning.(pg. 117 and 118) and the memory retention ideas on pg. 119. I worry that we often rush through the material. We are also up against the methods by which the students receive information now...it is nearly all via media, fast, colorful, with music...Trying to help them sort out and retain "dry information and facts" has to be done in a way they can best remember.
Valerie H commenting on Shivani & Cheryl W... when students are learning a new skill or practicing a particular way of writing, praising what they do correctly is more motivating and helps them keep working to perfect their skill... I can see where that is important in math. Students may do one part of a process correctly, but still have problems with other parts. We want to encourage them to keep learning and keep practicing, so if we do focus on the process and encourage what they do correctly instead of focusing on whether they got the answer right, then hopefully students will be motivated to keep at a task until they truely do master it.
I thought it was interesting and worth noting when it said on p. 56 that the research suggests that "Gifted children's information filters more efficiently at the task at hand." My understanding is that they have a stronger natural ability to determine importance. They can more easily identify what they need to know and remember to accomplish a certain task. In the area of Language Arts, we talk about teaching our kids how to determine importance when they are reading....essentially that not all ideas in a selection have the same degree of importance. It sounds like our GT kids do this, probably with little to no instruction. I am thinking if we work more with our other students on this idea of determining importance, they will be more successful in all subject areas.
I agree to Steve's comment on "Maintaining long-term memories -- that the concepts needs to be reviewed between four and seven times to assure long-term retention" and therefore I strongly believe in spiral testing especially for all Math & Science courses.
page 85, students should be praised for the process rather than for product. Hopefully repeated good processes will lead to good products.
Amy H. spoke of resilience. So important. It's second nature for many of our students to give up in the face of adversity. However, if they're supported and praised they feel comfortable facing difficult tasks and taking risks. Their self esteem goes up and so does their academic competency.
My "A-ha" moment was in chapter 4, the portion about encouraging participation, not perfection.I have seen this in the past with GT students, afraid to join in the discussion or start a paper/project due to being afraid of failure.
I agree with Greg Clouse...praise for the process rather than the end result. Students need to be encouraged as they go along not simply in the end...:)
My moment came on page 132. The section about sleep and permanent memory. How often do we hear student talk about their evening activities and their tendency to stay up much too late. I wonder how many parents make midnight raids to fond their students still in front of a TV or computer. And am not talking academic time. the brain research is fascinating and needs to be part of a intervention program. When parents wonder were the 100 is for those GT students that under perform and for those that struggle in general. I liked dock-of-the-bay idea of a communal spot. You could post a community gauge on the wall. Much like a fund raiser gauge where you have a goal mark at the top and each act of pro-activeness would color in a certain interval to the goal mark. Good thought.
In response to T Williams I also see this trait with some GT kids. They're perfectionists to the point they crumble under pressure or don't react well to low test or quiz Grades
I tend to agree with Doris Gates comment on sleep and memory. I have GT kids who play " Words with friends" online and they would sometimes make their move at 1am or 2 am when they should be in bed resting.