Friday, February 10, 2012

Enduring Understanding and Essential Questions.

Yesterday afternoon all of the elementary teachers had a meeting to discuss curriculum mapping and how to deepen the understanding of the students. Although this didn't directly affect me because I will only be teaching at OLM for three months, I was able to walk away from the meeting with valuable information that I can use in my own classroom.

Enduring understanding and essential questions emphasizes the fact that students need to understand what they are learning as opposed to just knowing what is being told to them. For examle, the upper grades are taught mean, median, and mode in math class. It would be easy to give an assessment that just has students regurgitate information, but they wouldn't know why this information is important to them. An assessment that utilizes essential questions would be asking the students to tell the teacher what their final grade should be for the unit by using either the mean, median, or mode. By doing this, students are motivated to find with method will give them the highest grade, thus actually learn the material as opposed to just repeating it.

After this presentation, I realized how important is to relate information to students lives and how it's necessary to ask questions and faciliate discussions that require a higher level of thinking and encourage debate. It's not always easier, but it strengthens the learning of the students and the teaching of the teacher.

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