Friday, September 08, 2006

Handing it over...

Today in chemistry I was able to let the students jig-saw the notes and information using the laptops. The students worked in groups of 3 or 4 and each found a few properties of a specific section of the periodic table. As a group, they had to create one powerpoint slide (or word document) that explained their assigned section. After the groups placed their presentations into a drop box, they each came up to the front and presented the information to the class. I also allowed the class to type the notes on the laptops if they wanted to instead of writing them down. I know this is a small step in technology and with the laptops, but I'm easing my way into it!
The groups were only given 15 min to research the section of the periodic table, create a presentation as a group and put it in the drop box. Then we spent about 15 min presenting the information and taking notes. While the students were researching and presenting I found my self wanted to jump in and add comments to their presentations. The students provided more than enough information about each section they were assigned and did a great job, it was just hard for me to have them do everything! I think it will be an adjustment for me to hand over the reins, so to speak. Even though I find myself wanting to talk and tell them the information, when I reflect on the day, I'm excited that they are getting used to helping each other and working together to get and understand the material!
I also found some cool interactive websites that I plan to use next week...I will keep you posted on how that goes!


Karl Fisch said...

I think it's hard for a lot of us to "hand over the reigns." So much of our identities are tied up in "being the teacher" and "teaching our students." We just have to keep track of the fact that we are still helping our students learn and grow - it's just that we're helping them do more of that on their own. And - in the long run - I think most of us would agree that that will be much more beneficial for them.

You might consider linking to those interactive websites from your blog so that we can all take a look as well.

Terry Sale said...

When my English students have a self-directed discussion, I keep wanting to step in and tell them all the details that they're missing. But if I really look at it, I realize they are discovering quite a bit, and often without my saying a word. I have to keep reminding myself that there are more ideas than we can cover in a 58 minute period anyway. The students are more likely to remember the (perhaps fewer) ideas that they discover on their own, rather than being bombarded with ideas they "should" have found.