Field trips provide students with a course-related experience that is not possible in the class room. I, along with one other instructor, take my students to show different power plants in Metro Vancouver area. Every month we go to visit one power plant in the area. It gives excellent experience to the students. Primary purpose of the plant tour is to learn. A plant tour provides an opportunity to observe how work actually gets done. The charts and diagrams to show are no substitute for seeing things happening in practice.
One excellent way to enhance learning is to keep an open mind. It is surprising that a great amount of learning on the plant tour happen unexpected. It is not unusual for a student to go to a tour site and observe one process or activity and gather some excellent ideas about the other processes of the plant.
The plant tour is sometimes used as assessment tours, not as learning tours. We practice the students on our steam lab plant. But all the plants are not similar, rather some plants are equipped with latest technology. The equipment may be different, but we teach our students to help them learn quickly by assessing and exploring the plant. The skills they already learned in the training comes very handy for them to identify the different parts and equipment.
Of course, there are some expenses involved in the tours but those are manageable. We inform students in advance about the safety requirements e.g. about mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE) and coverall requirements.
Finally, going off-campus is a refreshing change of pace and provide students an opportunity to bond together as a learning community
And after every tour we give the students a test on what they saw, observed and felt at the plant site.
Chris Lowe has done good job in his digital project about learning from mistakes.
My thinking on the mistakes is:
- Admit that you have made a mistake- When you make a mistake, the best thing for you to do is to admit that you made the mistake and take full responsibility for resolving things.
- Don’t justify your mistake – When you make a mistake it’s important that you don’t fall into the trap of trying to justify your mistake. Mistakes must be embraced not justified or rationalized. Unless you take ownership of your mistakes, you will never truly learn the lessons you must master to move forward in this area of your life.
- Dwelling upon mistakes will diminish your self-confidence and your creative self-expression. It will affect your performance and productivity, and make you feel absolutely miserable.
- Stop viewing mistakes as something that’s negative and hurtful. Instead, begin viewing mistakes as opportunities to re-evaluate the path you are taking towards your goals.
- Mistakes should immediately indicate to you that something went wrong. As a result, you must be ready and prepared to deal with this situation. However, most importantly you must be ready to learn from the situation in order to improve your choices, decisions and actions in the future.
My reaction to story telling strategy:
The importance of storytelling in teaching is stressed by some educators as follows: “We learn from stories. More important, we come to understand – ourselves, others, and even the subjects we teach and learn.
Stories engage us. … Stories can help us to understand by making the abstract concrete and accessible. What is only dimly perceived at the level of principle may become vivid and powerful in the concrete. Further, stories motivate us. Even that which, we understand at the abstract level, may not move us to action, whereas a story often does” (Noddings & Witherell, 1991: 279-280).
Given that stories facilitate understanding, cause engagement, and produce motivation, and even help us to understand ourselves, the appropriate use of the story form in science teaching can, indeed, become an heuristic teaching device that is not only attractive, but also self-sustaining (Klassen, 2006).
Furthermore, stories constitute a natural and effective way of thinking and can be used as a means of communication and cultural expression (Manna & Minichiello, 2005).
How does storytelling help the understanding of science concepts? This question is important for us.
We believe that storytelling helps the development of romantic understanding because it makes students experience curiosity, mystery and even wonder.
Every teacher has the responsibility to create a positive learning environment in the class.
Ellen has covered almost everything required for creating the positive learning environment in the classroom. I want to stress upon the most important strategy, yet often the most difficult to carry out, is to be positive—from classrooms to playgrounds, during school and after.
There is always a positive way to respond to a situation. A positive attitude is the change agent that will create positive classrooms and schools that produce happy and successful students.
I like the way Cynthia shown the one minute strategy in the digital project.
A one-minute paper may be defined as a very short, in-class writing activity (taking one-minute or less to complete) in response to an instructor-posed question, which prompts students to reflect on the day’s lesson and provides the instructor with useful feedback. This strategy was originally developed by a Physics professor at the University of California, Berkeley (cited in Davis, Wood, & Wilson, 1983), then popularized by Cross and Angelo (1988) as one of a wide variety of quick “classroom assessment techniques” (CATs)—designed to provide instructors with anonymous feedback on what students are learning in class
While the original purpose of the one-minute paper was to assess student learning at the end of a day’s lesson, it can be used at other times. It can also be used for instructional feedback. Furthermore, because the one minute papers are anonymous, the student need not worry about teacher’s reaction to any particular student.
I am going to use this strategy in my class.
I like Cheryl Morassut’s teaching strategy – concept maps.
I often use this strategy in my class for brain storming an idea, particularly in troubleshooting a fault in a device. It makes the learning fun.