Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Readying the Mind for Learning: "Text Book" Consultation

Similar to readying the body for exercise, we learn better when we ready the mind for learning.

I'm including the "warm up" in most student learning these days so they can ready their minds before a task.  A combination of a meaningful rationale, narrative, focus questions and a short task help to set the stage for greater learning.

Today and tomorrow, a text book consultant will provide professional development to my collegial group.  Past experiences with text book consultants have not been that positive, but colleagues who have already viewed this presentation tell me there is some worthwhile content. They've given me a preview of what's to come which really helps me to prepare.

The consultant will introduce a number of online tools and online/offline processes that facilitate students math learning.

How will I make the most of this presentation?

First, I'll set the focus of my listening and learning.  The focus I've set is finding out all I can about the mathematical tools and processes available to help students bridge the gap between not knowing and knowing related to the new mathematical standards.

Next, similar to my colleague next-door, I'll make a laminated folder with all of the new standards--a ready reference to guide my teaching.

Next, I'll create a learning chart on Google docs to facilitate note taking and later use.

As the presenter presents, I'll add worthy links and tools to the Google chart for later use and consultation.  I'll note whether tools are available only during school time or if those tools are available 24-7 to student learning, and I'll work on revising each unit on our classroom math website.

Time for curriculum prep is limited so I want to make the most of the presentations.  Framing the learning experience with a preview, focus, chart and open mind helps one to learn as much as possible. By utilizing this process myself I am better prepared to coach students with a similar process as they gain, share and present knowledge.