Differentiated Teaching Article

  1. Mr. Appleton’s classroom resembles most of my micro-teachings from the fall and this spring semester, a knowledge dump. Although Mr. Appleton’s way of teaching is successful, think about how many history professors or professors in general teach this way, he lacks differentiation which in turn engages students less in his lessons. This day in and day out expectation of listening to a lecture can grow boring and mundane during the course of a school year for our students.
  2. Mrs. Baker’s classroom was a real shocker to me. Reading this section of the article I was impressed with her classroom. Once I finished this section and got to the critique part it really was clear to me that just because Mrs. Baker was teaching in different ways doesn’t mean it was meaningful. Her class lacked a forward moving direction with a clear end goal. Although Mr. Appelton had a clear goal he wanted to meet with his lessons, he did not use differentiated teaching methods, and Mrs. Baker lacked the clear goal of Mr. Appleton’s classroom, but in turn captivated students with differentiated teaching methods.
  3. Finally reading about Ms. Cassell’s classroom I was really impressed with the structure and freedom found within her classroom walls. One aspect that I really liked about her classroom was the clear and defined goals or outcomes she wants for each lesson or unit. Highlighted vocab words, concepts and essential questions for guidance. I also really liked her intentional use of blending sources to create coherent student work. The one aspect of her lesson that was absolutely amazing was her student activities and how the first directly played into the second. The connection between the two activities/assignments created a working relationship for much of the school year between the content and the lessons.
  4. After reading this article, more specifically about Mrs. Baker’s classroom, I’ve realized that differentiated instruction within the classroom is not simply creating different activities or teaching information, topics, lessons etc. in different ways. It is much more than this. DI is the concept of creating different avenues of learning for students who learn in various ways while still adhering to or completing meaningful lessons that enrich and work towards a clear and concise goal, be it the state standards, federal standards or a classroom objective that needs to be reached.

NIGHT

  1. If Moishe the Beadle no longer cared to live, why then did he make the miraculous and harrowing journey back to Sighet to warn the other Jews?
  2. Having heard Moishe the Beadle’s various stories and claims in the Synagogue about his time in captivity by the Gestapo, what emotions or feelings do you think entered the Jews of Sighet upon seeing German Army vehicles moving about their streets?
  3. If you and your family were forcibly relocated from your homes, and you found out the night before, what would you put in your backpack?
  4. Would you have believed Moishe the Beadle’s claims of babies used as machine gun practice and Jews digging their own graves before being shot? why or why not?

Teaching the Holocaust

  1. When and why did the Holocaust start to get more curricular coverage?

Schweber’s article talks about the Holocaust explosion that occurred in the late 1980’s within various forms of media, news and films. In 2003, Schweber discusses that the New York Times published an article denouncing the plethora of documentaries that were produced in that year. This ultimately causes a drive for the topic to be taught in the classrooms. Schweber also talks about this leading to what he refers to as “Curricular Creep.”

2.  How can students understand genocidal violence without taking the subject seriously?

I believe students do take the subject serious, but as Schweber has pointed out with “curricular creep” students are learning about such a heavy subject younger and younger now. The magnitude and emotional baggage that is attached to these lesson plans pertaining to the Holocaust burns students out. Much like the students who played a game of jeopardy to review for the text, they understood the severity of the topic and historical impact of the mass killings, but did not disrespect the subject matter at hand.

3. I like how Schweber discusses the disconnect that students can be stuck in with a topic such as the Holocaust when the learning is taken too seriously or is more somber than inviting. As Schweber stated, holding the Holocaust in complete reverence hinders our learning of the human actions that shaped history. Students should feel free to ask questions without the worry of marginalizing or disrespecting such an emotionally charged time in history.

 

Using Textbooks for Lesson Planning

Textbooks can offer us as educators numerous positive reinforcements when building our lesson plans. As the author of this article stated, textbooks offer the clearest and most concise means of providing pertinent information. Often times, this information is reverberated in the national and state teaching standards. Another great reason to use textbooks in building your lesson plans is the wide access students have within a school setting to textbooks. Relying on technology can become cumbersome and sometimes down-right disastrous.

 

6.1 Growth of an Industrial and Urban America Explain the causes and consequences – both positive and negative – of the Industrial Revolution and America’s growth from a predominantly agricultural, commercial, and rural nation to a more industrial and urban nation between 1870 and 1930.

I found this Michigan US History standard interesting, because in my placement we are currently wrapping up our Industrial Revolution Unit. Our intern teacher through MSU presented a lesson that revolved around the inventions of the 1800’s that were either by-products or products that laid the ground work for the Industrial Revolution in America. Here the students were required to do computer based research on which ever invention they chose, and had to present a well written and thought out persuasive essay to the teacher that was meant to convince him of why their invention they chose was the most important to the Industrial Revolution in America. Not only did this require higher order thinking as well as an emotional attachment towards the invention the students picked, but it also exercised research skills that have barely gotten used during my tenure in this classroom.

Personality Tests

According to the DISC personality test, my most observable trait was that of influence. According to this I enjoy large and diverse interactions with other people. It also states that this personality is congruent with somebody who is easily approachable and enjoys being an overall optimistic person.

The second most observable feature from my personality test was that of steadiness. This states that I have a high level of patience which I do not agree with. I might be one of the most impatient people I know! But it does state that the steady personality type are generally those that like to or enjoy helping others, this I can agree with according to my personality.

The third most defining feature of my personality was that of dominance. I am a very goal oriented person and I welcome competition. I find that having goals and benchmarks to base your performance off of is very helpful. I also find that having friendly competition to drive yourself to perfection is a very useful tool to have in life. I thoroughly agree with this assessment of myself from this aspect.