Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The instructional strategies described in this weeks resources; the spreadsheet tools, the interactive savings and investment tools, the data collection tools and the web resources, correlate extremely well with constructivist/constructionist learning theories. All of the tools covered in this chapter allow the students to "create" their data for a very hands on approach. The teacher in most cases creates the "skeleton" of the tool and the students fill in the necessary infomation on their own.

These tools are a great way for students to get the hands on experience they need to really help them understand a concept. One thing that stood out was the comment that the teacher did not want to spend time teaching the students how to use a spreadsheet, the teacher wanted to use the spreadsheet to teach the students a certain concept (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn and Malenoski, 2007). That is a problem I have run into at times. Even though my students are probably more technological savvy than me at times, I have had to spend significant amounts of time getting my students to understand the tool instead of how to use the tool. Unfortunately, the computer classes that teach my students how to understand the different tools are being cut because of a lack of budget.


Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What I took the most from the cognitive learning theories is that to really get a student to learn, you have to get the information to really "sink in" to the long term memory. The best way to do that is to use as many intellegences as possible (Laureate, 2008). Using such things as organizers and taking notes allows students to see, read, listen, and put pictures with what the lesson is trying to teach. The more ways to present a topic, the more the students will learn what is being taught and be able to recall the information. It will not just be remembered for a short time, but it will really "sink in."

As far as using virtual field trips, I just have to say that aside from actually going somewhere, these are one of the greatest ideas ever thought of. The virtual field trip allows so many more students to experience differnt things that would probably not be possible, especially since it is getting harder and harder to take "real" field trips. Talk about emerging students in a lesson. This is a great way for students to really learn about a topic and really get the information to move through the brain. I did not have time to really explore as much as I would have liked, but I definitely want to try to encorporate some virtual field trips into my lessons next year. Not only will it be something new and different for my students, but hopefully it will reach more of them and make the lesson more meaningful.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). Program one. Understanding the Brain [Motion Picture]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Baltimore: Author.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The instructional strategies presented this week correlate with the principles of behaviorist learning theory well.

The first strategy was using a spreadsheet to keep track of effort. This fits into the behaviorist theory because it allows the students to change their "behavior" on their own with the teacher not having to persuade them to change. Effort affects achievement and effort can be looked at as a behavior (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Malenoski 2007). With the students analyzing their effort they really have a good place to look to change what they don't like.

The other strategy was homework and practice and what will really help students to review and apply what they are learning. To make homework a meaningful review and extension of what goes on in the classroom, students need to have a connection to it and not feel like it is just busy work. Giving students options when it comes to homework results in a better understanding and participation rate from the students. Doing this will result in a more desired "behavior" for doing homework.

Pitler,H., Hubbell, E., Huhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.