Like all monday’s, we came into this week’s class a bit drained from a full day of teaching. From 7AM until 8:10PM we grad students are completely immersed in the field of education as both teachers and learner. This weeks class began with us considering our role as teachers and discussing a scenario about what would we do if a student vomited on the ground at the exact same moment as a fire alarm. The discussion helped us think through the resources available to us in our classrooms, fellow teachers, and students when emergency situations occur. After such an appetizing conversation, it was natural that we would stop for a pizza break and transition from thinking as teachers to taking on the role of a learner.
Spies won. #blueteam5ever
Our discussion about the reading this week was framed by a literacy circle assignment. Each of us was able to share a quote from the text that supported an opinion or question about the theory. Dan, Daniel, Christa, Chelsea, Paige and myself all shared highlights about the text, then reflected on the experience about new thinking and questions that arose from the talk.
From there we moved onto thinking about the innovative units that we are planning. Not to say that this unit is any more innovative than other units that we plan, but we are taking the time in class to think about the application of backwards design and use the theory to support some of the practices that we have been using in our placements. We began independently with a graphic organizer depicted below. This helped us to narrow our thinking and generate an idea of what the bare bones of our unit should be and what we would want to expand upon if time and student understanding allowed us to do so.
After working independently, we were afforded an opportunity to work with people in our same content certification areas to bounce ideas back and forth and generate a solid plan that would really push us to better the UbD for the week to come.
The last part of this weeks class was led by none other than Dan Baker who got us thinking about ways in which collaborating teachers, co- teachers, and inclusion teachers can be a part of our classroom community, the planning process, and execution of lessons in a science classroom.
Dan discussed his own experiences in his placement and asked us to assist him in thinking about new ways he can collaborate with the co-teachers he works with. Suggestions were offered and we all shared some similar experiences in our placements. We noticed that we had all been struggling with this collaboration and brainstormed some solutions together.
Ultimately it is up to Dan what he decides to do with the advice given to him as a result of this discussion and we will eagerly await an update from him next week.