Thursday, August 07, 2008

Decisions, decisions

Once again, its time to gear up for fall semester and undergraduate classes -- I'm trying to get the READ 498 syllabus ready before I take off for a few days, but haven't been able to spend the time I need to in thinking through the assignments. Every time I go into the office, I get way laid by some task or another. I'm trying to decide just what assignments we will have in the class. Although I like the Blog idea,  it's just too much to keep up with all those Blogs - and students who are not tech savy set up a new blog for every posting, or forget their passwords, or otherwise get caught up in the technology of the thing, and that's not what I'm after, really. I need to change the reflective thinking assignment to something students are more familiar with, and accommodate my wish to have the students in contact with other science and math pre-service teachers so they can think together about teaching science and math. The professor at Arizona State and I spoke today, and we talked about setting up a wiki so they can communicate outside of Blackboard - much easier that way. And I have a YouTube video that can help students understand what a wiki is and how it works -- more like a Discussion Board. 

So, the Blog will become a limited number of posts and responses -- probably 4 -- on the discussion board of a Wiki. The other two assignments will be the same: assess a class and teach a class. But I'm going to specify the assessment to be used. I now have really good examples of the Strategic Content Literacy Assessment in all content areas, and that will help. Otherwise, things are pretty much the same in terms of assignments.

I will need to post the piece I wrote for the revisions in chapter 1 of our new edition so students can have background reading for disciplinary literacy, and maybe the one for the vocabulary chapter. But perhaps students will be better off reading the articles [at least some of them] and coming up with their own summary of differences in disciplinary literacy among the content areas.

Well, I think I've made at least the decision about the reflective piece on the Internship - so maybe I can get this syllabus finished in the morning!

1 comment:

Cheynna Zygmunt said...

I think its really interesting as a student to go back through your blogs from before the start of this semester and see your train of thought as I sit here and try to decide what lessons and assignments to incorporate in my curriculum unit. I really like how you discuss the main idea you had and how you came to the solution to your problem. I also agree with the fact that some students are not as tech savvy as others. Not doing a blog was probably your best idea, because being in the technology class, I know learning new things puts a lot of pressure on some students in class. The wiki was much easier to use and to understand as well.

I also really like how I can look at your thoughts on the assignments and then reflect on how I looked at them to see if I got the same idea out of them as you wanted us as your students to get. The SCLA was a great idea and I am really glad you decided on that form of assessment. It very easily made me understand the importance of giving students questions on reading that they need to think and form their own ideas on.

Reading your blog throughout the semester has also made me see how vital it is for a teacher to reflect on their own decisions and how their ideas turned out. I have started to think about what I was able to accomplish in the classroom this semester and I can easily see what I want to do differently and what went really well.