My first C4T assignment is on Mrs. Edna Sackson’s blog, http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/. She has been a teacher in Australia for the past 30 years and this is the first year she has not had a class to teach. She now works with teachers more than students.
10 Ways to Create a Learning Culture
The first blog of hers I read was, 10 Ways to Create a Learning Culture. In this blog she reflects on all the things she used to think about teaching. She explained what she thought she knew about how her fist day would be and then what she now knew was true about the first day after experiencing it for 30 years. Here is Mrs. Sackson’s list of 10 Ways to Create a Learning Culture:
1. Ask about their expectations.
2. Create an essential agreement.
3. Know everyone’s story.
4. Arrange learning spaces to encourage collaboration.
5. Demonstrate that you value thinking.
6. Talk about learning.
7. Ensure they know that they own their learning.
8. Make sure you listen.
9. Show you’re a part of the learning community.
Here is my response to Mrs. Sackson’s post:
Hi Ms. Edna Sackson! My name is Jamie Barbour and I am in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. This is my first education class so I am very eager to learn anything and everything I can from other educators to prepare me for my career in education. I plan to teach kindergarten or first grade because I love little children and their creativity and eagerness to learn when they first go to school. I really enjoyed reading your blog and how you compared the lists of the things "I Used to Think" and "Now I think" after your 30 years of experience. I especially like the idea of seating children in groups that promote and encourage collaboration among students. I believe we can sometimes understand and learn better from our peers than our teacher sometimes because it is less intimidating and we are not scared to make the wrong choice and be original. I also think it is really important to "know everyone's story". Sometimes we do not understand why or how some children progress and understand faster than others, but we do know that where they come from and what affects their environment can have on their ability to learn. Thanks so much for sharing this information. I look forward to reading more of your posts and using them in my class room one day.
Thanks, Jamie Lynn Barbour
Exploring Issues Blog by Edna Sackson
Mrs. Sackson’s Exploring Issues blog post is about using drama to “explore issues and deepen understanding in [the] classroom”. This is the same kind of drama used as in play acting but using it in this way is called the Playback style of theater, which is like on the spot improvisation. The key points Mrs. Sackson listed in her blog about the benefits of this type of teaching tool are:
• Collaborating in groups to explore issues and develop ideas.
• Using newspaper stories, articles and powerful images to stimulate thinking.
• Writing four sentence stories to encapsulate the big ideas.
• Considering social inequity from other perspectives.
• Empathising with others and portraying different aspects of their emotions.
• Using voices and bodies to express feelings and communicate ideas.
• Experimenting with symbolism and metaphor to invoke emotion and provoke thinking.
• Giving constructive feedback to peers on how to make their performances more effective.
• Reflecting individually and collaboratively to refine their techniques.
My response to Mrs. Sackson’s Exploring Issues Post was:
Hi Mrs. Sackson!
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from the University of South Alabama. I love drama but I have never actually thought of using it in this way in the classroom with young children. I am working on my second undergraduate degree in elementary education and I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class this semester. I think that drama is a great way to encourage discussion in the classroom, especially for little ones because they are so physical in their learning and exploring new things. I think this allows them a chance to be more creative and innovative in the classroom and interact with their fellow students. I also think this is a great way for children to get to know each other better and find out what their peers find important in today’s world. Thanks for the post and I will definitely keep this in mind for my future students.
Thank you-Jamie Lynn Barbour