Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chapter 6- Learning and Cognitive Processes

What are the essential skills and/or learning outcomes you want your students to know and be able to do that relate to cognitive learning?
One skill that I want my students to walk away from my class with is the ability to pay attention. This cognitive learning chapter talked a lot about memory and how paying attention is key to remembering things. However, paying attention isn't as easy as it seems. The book gives the example of reading a book. While your eyes may be looking at the words on the pages and reading each word, unless your mind is focused on the novel and not daydreaming about what happened earlier in the day, the information cannot be stored. I want my students to be able to know when they are paying attention and when they are not. A big part of the elementary years is teaching students to re-read the parts that confuse them or that they accidentally skimmed so learning how to pay attention and focus at the task at hand is important. Another skill I want my students to practice and learn is mnemonics. Mnemonics area great way to help students remember classroom material that they may have no prior knowledge of. Throughout my 16+ year career as a student I've used mnemonics to help me so I know that they can help my students. In the second grade I learned My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas to remember the order of the planets from the sun (back when Pluto was a planet.) Since then, I've always utilized mnemonics to help with tricky concepts.

Example of how one teacher teaches the metric staircase

How might your knowledge of the memory processes guide your instructional decisions?
Something that really stood out to me in the teacher project from this week was Matt's explanation of how students only pay attention to what interests them. The example was that when teaching a social studies lesson, boys will be more inclined to listen to the war aspect of the lesson and ignore the rest. This really resonated with me because I used to be one of those students! When we would read books as a class, I could only relate to the girl characters and completely ignore the boy characters. During a social studies lesson I was intrigued by the people and places and didn't listen to a thing about the dates. As a teacher I must keep this in mind so the material caters to all students. I'll also be sure to emphasize details and materials that I know my students aren't as interested in.

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely these seem like great ideas. I know exactly what you mean about focusing on the things that interest you. I have a big problem with that still. It is very hard for me to sit down and read chapter work because I don't absorb anything. I feel like I am wasting my time. I wish someone could teach me how to not do this.