Thursday, January 31, 2013

On to a new approach, but first....to reflect on Last approach

Before I talk about my new approach...

Let me begin by reflecting on the fall semester.  I welcomed the new year eager to meet the challenges of not only implementing the devices that I have been given privilege to use in my instruction, but also the challenge of teaching 2 new courses that I had not previously taught; Integrated Math II and III.  Little to my knowledge the task of adjusting my geometry curriculum to the new common core curriculum would prove to be a greater challenge than any of us could have expected.

I consider myself open to trying new things and learning how to adjust my teaching to the needs of the students in my classes.  I understand that not all students learn in the same way, nor at the same pace, and this requires for me to seek to use a variety of approaches to the present the content and skills needed for understanding.  Thus much of the reason for my desire to have the laptops to assist in diversifying my instruction to meet the different learning styles and strengths of my students.

I struggled all semester with staying on top of planning my classes with the new demands of the curriculum and the new Integrated math classes, much less developing and implementing any lasting method of using the laptops on a regular basis as a means of instruction.  I have been disappointed at my lack of success in organizing myself to the degree it demanded to plan lessons for each day with the use of the laptops.  I was suggested to do it with one class, one unit at a time, but when I started a lesson in one class with the use of the technology, I would get excited and try to do the same thing in the other classes.  But, as I developed each lesson, I would then present in class and need to make adjustments, as we ran into unforeseen challenges; students inability to navigate the touch pad mouse, their lack of competency of navigating the internet, my links not being correctly attached to whatever document we were working in, etc.  So, these adjustments would take more time, and I just didn't have enough time or patience to do this for all the classes (of which I have 4 preps).  I would then get overwhelmed and discouraged, eventually abandoning the new approach, resorting to methods I had previously used.  I have reflected much on my struggle and my disappointment, seeking to find answers, find resolve, find a way this technology to my students in a meaningful way to benefit their learning.

...to be continued

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