My GAME plan is focused on creating authentic learning experiences that allow students to explore their interests and creating diverse learning experiences that meet students’ different learning styles and needs. Last week I identified what actions I have already taken to meet my goals and what resources and information I still need to achieve my goals. Although, I have a good start on reaching my goals, I found there are resources available to help me find more information for achieving my goals.
The resources I have taken advantage of as I work towards reaching my goals are the district librarians, my grade level colleagues, and my instructional coach. I discussed my goals for creating authentic instruction and meeting students’ diverse learning needs. They agreed to work with me to create an authentic science lesson that integrates technology and writing. In this unit, students will learn about the different animal habitats and then research information about different animals. After completing their research, students will use an organizer to write down why an animal could or could not survive in a certain habitat. Once students complete their organizers, they will turn their learning into a narrative book using the Book Creator application where an animal tells about its habitat. Computer applications are mindtools that support students in sharing what they have learned in a unique way (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2009). The Book Creator application will enable students to use an iPad as a mindtool to share their new knowledge.
In this lesson, they have also helped me in developing ideas to meet the diverse learning needs of students. When teachers are flexible in using instructional strategies, resources, and assessments, the diverse learning needs of students are more likely to be met, which can lead to better understanding of content (Cennamo et al., 2009). In my collaboration with my colleagues, we decided that it would be a good idea to focus on creating different learning activities that would activate Gardner’s multiple intelligences. As we introduce the habitats, we will use images, videos, and a song about habitats to support the musical and visual learners. Students will also be allowed to work in partners as they work on the project. Working in pairs will support the linguistic and interpersonal learners. Students will also use an organizer and a Book Creator application to create their books, which will support students’ logical and kinesthetic intelligences.
From working with my colleagues on my GAME plan, I have learned several ideas for creating authentic instruction that meets the diverse learning needs of students. I have also learned strategies for integrating technology throughout a lesson. I have realized that I might need more help with classroom management as I implement authentic learning experiences with technology. For example, I need to create procedures for situations when more than one student has a question and I am busy working with another student. Cennamo et al. (2009) suggested that students should ask neighbor peers for help or teachers can assign technology leaders to support other students. A question I still need more information about is how to effectively manage time for authentic learning experiences. I know that if I can fine tune my classroom management skills for these types of learning experiences, I will enjoy teaching them more and my students will increase their learning from them.
Cennamo, K., Ross, J. & Ertmer, P. (2009). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. (Laureate Education, Inc., Custom ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.