Thursday, September 8, 2011

CEDO 525 Week 2: Objectives, Feedback & recognition

Feedback that Fits ( ):

Giving feedback about the quality of work or process was what I thought most relevant combined with the feedback being related to the goals of the lesson/activity. Having feedback about positive things is also important. I think a lot of teachers focus on what is wrong with something and not on what is right.

Setting Objectives, Providing Feedback and Providing Recognition:
I’ll be the first to admit that my lesson planning and classroom strategies for teaching in schools in America need some work. My past experience teaching was mostly teaching 8 week ESL conversation courses in Taiwan. There was no formal assessment and homework was not mandatory but mostly in preview and preparation for the next class. At the end of the course we would informally evaluate students ability and performance and judge whether or not they were ready for the next level. There were no grades given, just advance or retake the same level. Yes, we set objectives for individual classes and activities and gave verbal feedback throughout the class. All-in-all, teaching ESL conversation in a relaxed, informal environment in Taiwan is a very different animal than teaching K-12 in the USA.

I look back now on the computer lessons I taught in the past few years to high school students and realize that I need to rethink how I plan and prepare. Just taking courses for this program I can see how valuable the objectives and rubrics are for each course and assignment. I know what is expected and what I have to do. I f I do any teaching this year (my future is still up in the air) I’ll be taking these matters to my planning for sure.

Giving appropriate feedback is also something I need to work on and it follows from the objectives that are set. I feel that there isn’t very much feedback on our work given in this program as a whole. One instructor made a point to comment on our blog occasionally and also wanted to be included in our first team discussion just to check in but that has been just about all of the feedback we’ve been given.

On providing recognition I have been guilty of providing little or none to my students. I know thi is another thing I need to work on.

Future Thoughts:

I’m still working at my old school part time. I’ll be training whoever to do all the clerical and administrative tasks I’ve been doing the past few years. I’ll also be in charge of the technology as soon as it gets up and running as we’ve moved into a new building and the internet & network haven’t been set up yet. I’m hoping I can begin training the teachers to start implementing some of these ideas, perhaps one by one, training them to use a few select tools to get them used to using technology and computers in their teaching and learning. I have no problem seeing how the example technology tools can be effective. I just don't have the ability to implement them as of yet.

Free Idea for You:Students who Need Spelling Help

My 2nd grade son keeps asking me how to spell words. I directed him to either Google search or Google translate (set English to English). The new voice search lets you speak a word or short phrase and bingo, it pops up with the (mostly) correct spelling. The only problem is that f using the computer to write, it is too easy to cut and paste but it works pretty well. I’d like to see a similar function that returns the word/sentence as a graphic (like a captcha) so that if using the computer, students would have to type it in manually, thus getting spelling practice as well.


  1. Getting in the habit of creating organizers and rubrics can be time consuming, but once you start to build some generic rubrics that you like they can be easily modified to fit your lessons. The important thing isn't the detail, its how feel the rubric fits the true purpose of what the student is learning.

    I like the translate idea for spelling. I wonder how much longer we will live in a world without auto-correct available in every product we use.

  2. Well, do we really care as much about spelling as we used to? I was recently told by my principal that he sees teaching proper typing techniques in school as a waste of time. I partially agree. Students come into school already being proficient in using the mouse and keyboard and while some students do not type the correct way they still can peck their way to getting A's by middle school standards. Not sure how I feel about spelling just yet but I can see a day where such a large proportion of documents are simply typed using a device that has auto-correct(like Nate mentioned) so why should we focus so much on spelling instruction? We already don't know our friends' or family's phone numbers anymore with the way cell phones have taken over. Is that a precedent that is being set for spelling and typing skills? Kind of being devil's advocate here but it makes me wonder.

  3. Interesting comments on your experience teaching in Taiwan. I would love that experience and to see how learners in other countries compare.