“I can use new information, skills, attitudes, and apply the learning.”
What I learned at Roanoke College…
…How I used it in my classroom
As an English major at RC, I have spent a lot of time discussing writing structure and format. It is my belief that clear communication is key to success.
In order to give my students a strong writing and communications foundation, we began writing inhamburger paragraphs. This gives the students a basic intro-body-conclusion background.
In my English studies, comparing and contrastinghas been very important to both reading and writing. Without comparison, there would be no analysis, and without analysis, study of literature would be nothing.
As a part of our reading comprehension, I frequently had my students compare and contrast using a Venn Diagram and then had them apply their comparisons to themselves. In one memorable instance we took our reading comprehension into science class and made a human Venn Diagram of energy resources!
As I student taught, I took my Math Methods course, in which I learned a lot about the CPA model of learning: Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract.
In each math unit, I began with concrete, hands-on lessons utilizing manipulatives. After several classes of concrete practice, we moved on to pictorial lessons: practice using pictures and diagrams of our manipulatives. Finally, we moved into our abstract stage and did the math with no manipulatives and no pictures.
In my Math Methods course, we discussedprobability as a continuum, from “Impossible” to “Certain,” introducing the concept of percent chances early on.
In my classroom, we created our own probability continuum. Using my Math teacher’s suggestion, we created a clothesline, and I had students put everyday events on the clothesline, based upon their probability of occurring.
An important skill that I’ve learned in nearly all of my RC courses is that of exploratory research. I believe that if you do not know something and are curious about it, it is critical to go to a book or to an information database and find out more.
I value my students’ questions above much else in my classroom. On many occasions my students asked me far-out, specific questions beyond anything I’d ever learned in school myself. Instead of making something up, I adopted the habit of saying, “I don’t know, but I’ll look it up,” and then going home and researching everything from the clothing styles of the Native Americans that Columbus met to details about how the inside of a wind turbine works.