Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Small Moment

Sometimes your day is not about the planned events but instead it's the small moments that make us think, reflect and savor what we are doing/learning. Tell about a small moment you had this week and what you learned or experienced in that moment.

My small moment this week was that during the day on a very hectic Tuesday, teaching my class was the “break” I needed. I am a second year assistant professor who is advising 30-some-odd students this week during my first registration/advising period. I saw a dozen or so of these advisees on Tuesday from 10 am until 4 pm with my only “break” being the hour or so I went to teach my undergraduate Technology and Education class.

This week we started lesson plans. I dread teaching lesson plans because my class is often the first place the students have been required to do them for a grade in class. At my university we also use a standardized lesson plan that I am not that fond of. Sort sets a happy scene, huh?

But, something magical happened during ED 405 on Tuesday. I dissected the lesson plan and discussed the pieces and parts with the class and they seemed to get it! I made some of the topics so obvious that it was silly. For example, in a class called Technology and Education it is hugely important to write a lesson plan that includes technology. They all laughed, but I tell them, “No, wait, really, I have had some fabulous lesson plans that had not one speck of technology in them. And those lessons didn’t get very good grades. Imagine that!”

Thus, class continues with me going over the minutiae of the standardized lesson plan and them asking me questions and me giving them examples of what to do and not to do. I mention that plagiarizing the lesson plan not only results in a 0 for the grade, but really irritates Dr. Fowler--so please don’t do it! And I mention that using a computer to TYPE a report is NOT the kind of technology lesson I am looking for either. Finally, I give out a blank rubric with all the pieces and parts of the lesson plan on them. I give them 3 levels--Excellent, Satisfactory, and Needs Work--and ask them to come up with the criteria for each part of the lesson plan by our next class meeting. At first they are confused because I am letting them help design the grading rubric, but then they start getting into it. I realized that the lesson had taken on a life of its own and that a bit of on the fly planning had turned into a wonderfully, teachable moment for me and my undergrads. And that was my small moment for this week.


loonyhiker said...

This sounds wonderful! If you don't mind, I may use this idea in the grad course that I teach.

Laurie said...

You may certainly use anything you find useful! :)

Melanie Holtsman said...

Those really are the magical moments of teaching aren't they? Sometimes moments like that can carry you for days!

You might consider using the ISTE NETS*T and NETS*T standards as guidelines for your students in writing technology lesson plans. We are currently using these to help teachers see ways that technology would truly be integrated. :)