Monday, November 15, 2010

Staying Caught up with the Curriculum

This time of year seems to find teachers overwhelmed and concerned about whether or not they are going to "get to everything." Today I found this little gem on Twitter from Edutopia.

Some of the key ideas I took from this article:
  • Consider quitting the "covering curriculum contest," take a deep breath and enjoy teaching again
  • Start by creating learning objectives for each unit.
  • If an activity, class or homework assignment is not directly connected to your learning objectives, you probably need to eliminate it. Simply put, cut out all the fluff.
  • When students are struggling to comprehend new ideas and material, and the content is crucial to achieving the learning goals for the unit, think of other ways the students can learn the content and concepts.
  • After you have decided on learning objectives and chosen material, dig in rather than gliding over. Simply covering material is not teaching.
  • Educational research shows that only about 10 to 15 percent of students learn best auditorily, but 80 percent of instructional delivery is auditory. What that means is to serve our learners in an authentic, meaningful way where the learning lasts, all that telling (direct-teaching) has to be toned down and replaced with lots more visual, hands-on, and experiential learning.
Just a couple of things to think about as you enter into this difficult time of year. Stick to it! Sometimes we just need to take a step back, take a breathe, and make a plan! Try something Albert Einstein said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

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