Monday, May 21, 2018

Reflection 2 – Deduction plus discovery, a formula that can lead to metacognition

On the last reflection I talked about the importance of conscious teachers, now I will go further and show a way in which a conscious teacher can provide the students opportunities so that they can go further in their metacognition process; this taking into account the video we saw of the teacher in New York and her strategies, and on the video of the expert of the brain that became a teacher. Allowing the students to deduct outcomes of certain processes and then discover what those outcomes really were can help students think about their thinking, because with the guidance of the teacher they will discover their reasoning process, improve it, and then use it to face new situations. In this exercise there aren’t wrong answers, because what’s important is the process that leads to the answer more than the answer itself, the how and why. This formula of deduction plus discovery involves the following metacognition elements: use of prior knowledge to solve new situations, creativity, value the students’ opinions, team work, importance of processes, critical thinking, knowing themselves through analyzing their own thinking process and improving it, acknowledgment of diversity, sensory integration, making sense of why they are studying a topic, among others. The following is a practical example of the above in the social studies subject. The topic is a historical process, in this case the Russian Revolution of 1917, the students have already studied the background of this event, due to explanations of the teacher and the students’ research in which they created timelines of the most important events occurring in Russia and in the world, mostly Europe, at the time. The exercise is that students, in groups of four and with the guidance of the teacher, will deduct what occurred soon after the revolution, and will use different methods to represent it, one group will act a short play, another group will write a story, another group will show it with play dough, and the last group will show it in drawings. They will choose from the following possible topics: the involvement of Russia in the war, what happened politically in Russia (e.g. return of tsars or other), what happened economically (economic system that ruled after the revolution), or what happened culturally (a possible Russian renaissance). Then it will be discussed how they arrived to that conclusion and the teacher will present the events that occurred soon after the Russian Revolution.             

Reflection 1 - The importance of teacher consciousness in the learning process of the students

With what I learned in the first two classes, mostly about what is learning, neuron connections, neurogenesis and sensory memory, among others, the following is my reflection. It’s very important for the teacher to be conscious about the effect of his/her teaching on the students’ brains, knowing for example that how you teach not only involves your subject and giving the students information, but it also involves the environment in which you teach, your disposition as a teacher and your consciousness about what you want the students to learn that will endure time and space. If you as a teacher are conscious of the connections you are creating in your students, and of the need to strengthen them through repetition using different strategies, and that this process will lead to strong connections that will become networks that won’t be discarded by the brain and therefore will be stored for future recalling; you will be able to teach them meaningful lessons that they will be able to recall and transfer to other contexts and therefore use it for their own life process. In my case, I will use strategies that will have different sensory experiences that will fulfill the conditions of being meaningful for them and having an emotional hook, and teach them in a way that they will be able to connect what they are learning with past experiences. An example of this is the use of different strategies that will take into account the students’ diversity of brains and therefore strengths, for example using the role play strategy in my social studies class will help them understand many things about different historical figures while they learn about perspective, while the storytelling strategy will help them connect to a historical period and will teach them about empathy.

UbD + GANAG + Rubric - History and its Cultural Legacies


I present you my Understanding by Design (UbD) lessons on the topic History and its Cultural Legacies. It also includes a Rubric and a GANAG lesson plan.

Best Regards,

Presentation - 7 Keys to Effective Feedback

Dear All,

This is a presentation I made with a colleague and friend on effective feedback.

Best Regards,

Presentation - Emotional Disturbances


This is my contribution to a presentation we did in group on Emotional Disturbances.

Best Regards,