Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Blanton PBI Summary
Four UT PBI teams taught a total of 18 8th grade students from Bedicheck middle school. The students arrived at approximately 10:00am, but the Blanton Museum does not open until 11:00 on Saturdays, so the UT PBI teams showed the students examples of art around the UT campus area. Three of the groups went to the state capitol while the final group went to the central UT library where several sculptures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York are on display. Once the museum opened, all teams returned to the Blanton for a variety of lessons integrating math and art. After an hour and a half in the museum galleries, all of the groups reunited for presentations. Each middle school group presented what activities they participated in and what concepts they learned to everyone as a whole. Once presentations were completed, the middle school students returned to McKinney Falls State Park to continue their field experience.
McKinney Falls Field Experience:
For the PBI Field Experience at McKinney Falls State Park, 16 UTeach PBI Teams (consisting of a total of 32 PBI student teachers) engaged 8th grade students in problem-based field investigations. Half of the UTeach PBI teams taught in the morning, and the other half taught in the afternoon. Investigation topics included assessing water quality (biomonitoring and chemical testing), measuring streamflow, calculating potential hydro power production, using algebra to predict how a boat will move across a flowing stream, interpreting geologic history, making topographic maps, identifying plants and patterns of succession, designing experiments, and evaluating the purposes of a state park. After the investigations, the students presented what they learned, including a description of their methodology and articulation of their findings and conclusions.
Each UTeach PBI team was video taped and observed by a couple of their colleagues and either the PBI Professor, an UTeach Master Teacher, a PBI Teaching Assistant, an UTeach apprentice teachers (who had PBI last semester), or an 8th grade math or science teacher. The observers provided the UTeach PBI Teams with extensive feedback. The UTeach PBI Teams will utilize this feedback, along with their analysis of student artifacts and review of the videotapes, to revise their lesson plans and reflect on the field teaching experience.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Dr. Ann Rivet is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the Mathematics, Science and Technology Department at Teachers College Columbia University. The focus of her work is on examining factors that influence change in the teaching and learning of science within urban school systems, and more specifically, in what ways do the respective roles of curriculum materials and professional development provide support to teachers and school organizations in adapting and enacting change in their science programs, particularly in the context of large scale reforms. Dr. Rivet has extensive experience with the development and evaluation of project-based science learning environments. She has participated in several design projects with colleagues from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan, addressing issues of both instructional design and assessment of student learning within inquiry-oriented curriculum contexts. Her prior research looked specifically at the role of contextualizing features of project-based science programs at the middles school level, and how the design of those aspects of the curriculum support the activation of students’ prior knowledge for learning and lead to more robust understandings of the science content. Dr. Rivet also serves as the Earth Science content-area specialist in the Science Education Program at Teachers College with expertise in student understanding and learning within the multi-disciplinary context of the Earth Sciences, specifically in the areas of students’ prior conceptions of earth science phenomena, interpretation and use of representations, and students’ development of understanding of the Earth from a dynamic systems perspective. Her work has been published in several leading journals including the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and the American Educational Research Journal, and she has presented her work at multiple national conferences, including the American Educational Research Association and the International Conference of the Learning Sciences.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Project-based Instruction Fall 2009
1) Now that you have had the opportunity to guide your field investigation, please re-write the investigation.
2) For your reflection of the experience, please respond to the following, using evidence from your videotapes, observer notes, comments and collegial comments as well as the student artifacts (pre- and or post-tests, worksheets, field journals, presentation rubrics, etc.) that you collected during your lessons. This is a model for the final portfolio.
a) Describe 2 things about your teaching that you think went well and provide evidence (see above) to demonstrate the successes.
b) Describe 2 things that did not go well the FIRST TIME and provide evidence to demonstrate the lack of success. Discuss what conversations you had with your observers and how their comments were incorporated into the changes you made for the second teaching. Finally, describe what happened the 2nd time when you made these changes and provide evidence for the success (or lack of success) you encountered.
c) Describe 2 things that you would change if you could teach these lessons again and INCLUDE these changes in your revised plan submitted under #1 above. Discuss what prompted your decision to make these changes, including conversations with or written suggestions from your observers.
d) Describe at least 2 specific lesson components that occurred on Thursday and Friday that prepared your students well or that they were able to utilize in the investigation on Saturday.
e) Describe at least 2 aspects (changes/additions/deletions) of Thursday &/or Friday that would have better prepared your students for Saturday.
f) If you had a follow up day with your students in the classroom what would you do?
g) How could this “mini-project”, your lessons and field experience be used either as a launch or a significant piece of a bigger unit?
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Quick Summary of Jasper: The Jasper series is based on the assumption that thinking is enhanced by access to powerful concepts and not simply through access to a general set of thinking skills. Therefore, Jasper is designed to teach thinking in contexts that are rich in content as well as in the need for general strategies.
Jasper's close cousins are case-based learning, problem-based learning, and project-base learning. More specifically, Jasper series represents an example of problem-based learning that has been modified to make it more useable in K-12 settings. These modifications include the use of a visual story format to present problems, plus the use of "embedded data" and "embedded teaching" to seed the environment with ideas relevant to problem solving. Jasper is also designed to set the stage for subsequent project-based learning. Its overall goal is to help students transform "mere facts" into "powerful conceptual tools."
Picture: Students solve Rescue to Boone's Meadow in PBI.