Teaching and learning strategies

Note any observations you have made about middle years students and their learning development from the two tables and the video clip.

What stood out to me in this clip and the tables in particular is the re-occurrence of the word “self” in how middle years students should be developing their learning: developing self-awareness, self assessment and self-efficacy and reflection all play an important role it seems.

The four strategies discussed in this blog are: embrace their social nature; develop growth mindsets; provide structure; take time to breathe. Do these strategies cater adequately for the learning needs of adolescents? Compile your thoughts in a PMI chart.

Plus: I can see how harnessing the energy and relationships of middle year students is crucial; understanding the dynamic can lead to a connection. Also, teaching the importance of learning from mistakes and persevering through challenges is a great growth mindset strategy.

Minus: I think it is too narrow a focus. And I didn’t think the author intended it to be exclusive, she writes, just a few new ideas to implement in your own classroom.

Interesting: Following on from this, I found when researching other strategies a great (and long at 93-pages!) pdf called Making Their Heads Spin. In brief, the chapters that resonated with me were Making them feel good, Minding the connections, Making it sing! Moving them forwards and Making sure they’re learning.

List your top 10 strategies from this chapter (The Adolescent Learner: Key questions about adolescents and Win-Win Teacher responses) that you can use when teaching middle years students.

Individual styles, peer influences, socio-cultural backgrounds, and students’ social and academic language proficiencies may also influence their responsiveness to instruction.

  • Connect to students’ lives through meaningful concepts in the curriculum.
  • Make their work count with feedback
  • Question of the day.
  • Flex and reflect
  • Adolescent learners tend to be challenged by the concept of time management, but never assume, provide calendars etc, speak to individual students
  • Monitor pacing and types of learning
  • Connect to prior knowledge
  • Use multiple resources, active learning and choice sustains attention
  • Share your passion.
  • Set clear consistent and reasonable limits
  • Model, model, model
  • Be accessible

 

Summarise (using dot points) your learning about how academic behaviours, academic perseverance, academic mindsets, learning strategies and social skills can impact the learning of adolescents.

ACADEMIC BEHAVIOURS:

  • extremely important for achievement;
  • virtually all other noncognitive factors work through academic behaviours to affect performance.
  • reviewing the relationship of noncognitive factors to academic performance is crucial because academic behaviors are most proximal to one’s performance in school

ACADEMIC PERSEVERANCE:

  • Study to the best of one’s ability (determination, focus, grit)
  • But while academic perseverance is—by definition—a critical factor for students’ long-term educational attainment, research is not conclusive in “its implications for educational practice or its generalizability to a broad range of students.”

ACADEMIC MINDSETS:

  • are the psycho-social attitudes or beliefs one has about oneself in relation to academic work.
  • Positive academic mindsets motivate students to persist at schoolwork which shows itself through better academic behaviours, which lead to improved performance.
  • There is also a reciprocal relationship among mindsets, perseverance, behaviours, and performance.
  • SENSE OF BELONGING, I AM IN CONTROL OF MY LEARNING THUS IF I PUT IN EFFORT I WILL DO WELL AND I WILL SUCCEED, THERE IS SOME SORT OF VALUE IN LEARNING.
  • So, when students feel as though they do not belong, are not smart enough, will not be able to succeed, or cannot find relevance in the work at hand, they are much more likely to give up and withdraw from academic work, demonstrating poor academic behaviours which result in low grades.

LEARNING STRATEGIES:

  • Allow students to leverage academic behaviours to maximise learning.
  • Helping students to learn effectively is an area of research that bridges academic behaviors (e.g., studying), subject-specific cognitive domains of learning (e.g., understanding how to divide fractions in mathematics), metacognition, and self-regulated learning processes.

SOCIAL SKILLS:

  • are acceptable behaviors that improve social interactions, such as those between peers or between student and teacher.
  • Social skills are important for future work and life outcomes. Research has suggested that employers in the 21st century economy need workers with “people skills” that enable them to communicate effectively, work with diverse groups, and solve problems collaboratively.

 

Find two other resources that will help you with your teaching of adolescents. Record them in your journal with an explanation of why you have chosen them and how they help your understanding of adolescent learning needs.

From www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/middleyears one document that jumped out at me was Effective Strategies to Address the Needs of Adolescents 13+ Experiencing Difficulties with Reading: A Review of the Literature. I liked its clarity, structure and links to research and other resource. It’s Strategies for Success chapter included sections on Time for Reading and Reading for Meaning, An Optimal Learning Environment, Meaningful and Practical Assessment and The Best Learning is Fun. I think this would be a great resource because “the biggest single challenge adolescent learners face is the sharp increase in demands on their literacy skills.” The first year of secondary school is probably the most difficult, because of the: increased amount of reading in all learning areas; increased difficulty in level of concepts in all readings; variations in teaching methods that each new learning area the teacher presents; comparatively large classes, which make individual assistance difficult either before or after lessons; peer pressure, which prohibits being identified as needing assistance, let alone accepting any prolonged help.

While browsing Pinterest boards on teaching adolescents, I came across the website Teachers pay Teachers, and one digital download that resonated with me was Self-Esteem / Self-Respect Lessons Improving grades with Self Esteem training. It includes an interactive Powerpoint Presentation, printable PDF file of the presentation, wall posters
and a number of worksheets that cover topics like Partner Role Play – Body Language, positive thinking and gender roles. And I also like how it can be adapted to students from Years 3 to 10. I think this would be an invaluable tool in addressing the needs of adolescents, particularly girls who are most vulnerable to body image and peer/media representation.

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