Sunday, April 06, 2008

Educational biorhythms


Dr. Paul Jacobson, Director of their Center for Teaching Excellence, regularly organizes teaching circles, book discussions, and speakers. I found these tips on their website for "Beating those Bio-rhythm Blues: Keeping the 8:00 and 3:30 Scholars Involved and Learning" by Professor Rachel Serienz.

Be active. Walk around as you speak. Use facial expressions to convey your own reaction to a concept being addressed whether that reaction be acceptance, amusement, or disgust.

Engage in community building. Keep current on who is achieving what...Acknowledge these achievements with a brief mention. Even elicit a brief round of applause. Open your lesson in a way likely to engage student attention.

Acknowledge and honor learning diversity. Realize that your class will contain auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners and make sure that each lesson makes students listen, look, and write or do. Nearly half of college-age students are quite concrete-operational meaning that they learn best when actions and objects are used in teaching, or when teaching is related to their own concrete experiences.

Link lessons. Present a question to which students are expected to bring an answer to the next session. Have students open a session by reiterating what was learned during the previous session and then show them how what is to follow will be an extension of what they have already learned. But still use a novel "Launch" at times. The best way to fight the bio-rhythm blues is through diversity.

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