Monday, April 18, 2011

My thoughts on Inquiry based learning April 17th 2011

This week while learning about Inquiry Based Learning I stumbled on to a great musical lesson, which also came to me as a treat! But first allow me to share the eye opener of the week. I learned how to define, “Student Engagement”. You would think that as a current student and as a teacher I would recognize such an obvious action but apparently, student engagement isn’t that easy to totally recognize. I have learned that a good teacher can define student engagement and understand what is going on. A great teacher can go beyond and know how to react to student engagement, and how they should be engaged.

Keeping students current with the ongoing pace of 21st century skills is a must for Inquiry based learning. I have been teaching Music for the Pre-K to 8th grade levels and it has been challenging for me even though there were lesson plans to follow. In a digital environment, I chose to flip my lesson plan and use it to engage my classroom through Inquiry based learning. While teaching the history of jazz, I mentioned that the Big Band era still has its roots in today’s music. My students were in disbelief, so I challenged them to a lesson of “what’s old is new again!”

Two Jay-Z songs later (Show them what you got/Public Service Announcement) my students we engaged in a search for more samples of current songs that were using “old” styles of music.

My inquiry this week would be my concern with using web based tools to help teach and engage students. Should I also look for technology tools that will help me assess a student’s ability to learn?

Even though I may not like using a particular web based tool, should I encourage my students to learn the tool for future reference?

Getting students to use a scientific explanation for their work allowed me to think in another creative way, if I struggled at first at this, is it possible that most of student will too?

My Name is Ben Green,...and this is "Where I've BEN!"

1 comment:

Matt said...

You have two great questions:

1). You need to feel comfortable with the technology first. If you don't feel comfortable using the tool, then your student won't. I would encourage you find several tools that you do like and feel comfortable with and start with those. You can always point out these other tools to your students, but one person can't do it all.

2). I wouldn't say that students struggle with the explanation, its just that no one has ever formally asked them for something like it. It will take some time and effort for students to understand what you are looking for, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Look at the explanation again and compare it to the SCANS report and Standards for Success and I think you will see what I mean.