Rabbi Akevy Greenblatt August 2009 Motivating and Engaging our Students

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Judaic Faculty meeting

Judaic Faculty meeting

Rabbi Akevy Greenblatt

August 2009Motivating and Engaging our Students1Students Need to be motivated and engaged in the learning processQuotesTell me and I will forget.Show me and I might remember.Involve me and I will learn.

The best motivational intervention is simplytoimprove the quality of our teachingTeachers also needtoaccept that it is their responsibilitytoensure that their students stay motivated and they should not complain that students do not bring any motivationtothe classroom. DornyeiMotivating Students Jensen describes 5 key factors to help student motivationElimination of threatGoal setting with some student choice on a daily basisPositive reinforcement of students beliefs about themselves and the learning, including affirmations, acknowledgment of success, and teamworkManagement of student emotionsUse of frequent feedback

(( Jensen- Teaching with the Brain in mind) Teachers complain that some of their students are inattentive. This is not an accurate description. All students are paying attention to something; the object of their attention simply may not be what the teacher desires. The successful teacher develops strategies to guide that attention in the appropriate direction.

(Beers- Learning Driven Schools)Motivating Students Motivating Students A New Table of Learning

There is no such thing as a "new" taxonomy; all the likely taxonomies have been invented, and in nearly infinite variety. Probably the single most famous list in the world of educational thought is the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives devised by my one-time teacher Benjamin Bloom. I can't begin to talk about a new taxonomy without acknowledging the invaluable contributions of Bloom and his colleaguesas well as other taxonomic pioneers including William Perry, Lawrence Kohlberg, Grant Wiggins, and many others who have attempted to create some system for classifying the kinds of learning we seek for our students. Here then, stark and unadorned, is what I will call Shulman's Table of Learning:

Engagement and MotivationKnowledge and UnderstandingPerformance and ActionReflection and CritiqueJudgment and DesignCommitment and Identity

In a nutshell, the taxonomy makes the following assertion: Learning begins with student engagement, which in turn leads to knowledge and understanding. Once someone understands, he or she becomes capable of performance or action. Critical reflection on one's practice and understanding leads to higher-order thinking in the form of a capacity to exercise judgment in the face of uncertainty and to create designs in the presence of constraints and unpredictability. Ultimately, the exercise of judgment makes possible the development of commitment. In commitment, we become capable of professing our understandings and our values, our faith and our love, our skepticism and our doubts, internalizing those attributes and making them integral to our identities. These commitments, in turn, make new engagements possibleand even necessary.

( Making differences: A Table of Learning by Lee S. Shulman)

Call it what you want Our Goal is to :Reach more of the students more of the time through proactive planning and execution of the teacher and student roles in the classroom( Scott Goldberg) To meet our goal we need to focus on what the students are learning and less on what we are teaching Teaching vs. Learning Teaching = Teacher Centered

Learning = Student Centered

Teaching vs. Learning Questions posed to individual students during the class period are designed to validate that the teachers taught the material, not determine whether students learned it. ( Learning Driven Schools by Barry Beers)Bottom line

We all want to meet the needs of our students more of the time and we want out students to be engaged and motivated

THE QUESTION IS HOW ?

Make Learning Real Curriculum, Activities, and Assessments need to be stimulating and engagingStudents must be involved in this process

Today we will focus on making the curriculum and activites more engaging

Based on the book, Changing the Way You Teach Improving the Way Students Learn, by Martin-Kniep and Picone-Zocchia.

To Make Learning real and motivated our students we have to change the way we teach the curriculum Step 1- Students Brainstorm about Rosh Hashanah Step 2- Students find objects related to Rosh Hashanah Step 3- Students discuss the importance and role of the Shofar Step 4- Students share different minhagim and customs they do in their home on Rosh HashanahBased on the book, Changing the Way You Teach Improving the Way Students Learn, by Martin-Kniep and Picone-Zocchia.

Teaching with depth Revised Teaching method Topic: Beginning of Sefer ShoftimStep 1- Ask the students what they know about the time period of the ShoftimStep 2- Read together the first perek Before you read ask the students the following question: how did the period of the Shoftim differ from that of Yehoshuah? Step 3- Introduce the concept of Midah Kneged middah and the cycle of the ShoftimStep 4- Have students read another section in groups and ask the students to identify the stages and in the cycleStep 5- Have the students write a letter to someone living at that time trying to help them break the cycle Prior to that discuss with the class what facts and ideas you would incorporate into such a letter Based on the book, Changing the Way You Teach Improving the Way Students Learn, by Martin-Kniep and Picone-Zocchia.

Activities The Activities we do in class also have to be geared to motivate and maximize learning Meaningful types of activities

Students pick a character in Chumash or Navi and research facts about that character. They need to find out about their family, where and when they lived ,and what made them famous. Students also need to bring quotes from the pesukim to support their facts. Then the students get together and create a class book People We met in Chumash.2. A slight variation to the idea above is that students pick a character and answer the following the questions: A) What made them special B) What were the characteristics or qualities that they were known for C) What effect did they have on others Then each student shares their character with the c lass and then each student has to pick a character which was done by someone else and answer the following question: What one major quality or characteristic can you apply to your life?3. Take an event that occurred in Chumash or Navi and discuss in a group why was this event important and how did it effect the future of Jewish history? Have the students take that information and put into a short play

Based on the book, Changing the Way You Teach Improving the Way Students Learn, by Martin-Kniep and Picone-Zocchia.

Meaningful and Engaging Activity Table

High Engagement

Word bingo On the move vocabulary game

Putting together a Rosh Hashanah guide for people to know the laws, customs, and prayers.Low MeaningfulnessMemorizing words

High MeaningfulnessLearning the laws of Rosh HashanahLow Engagement

Other Activities which make learning more meaningful and the students more engaged

1. Give students choices of what type of projects they can do Example: Tic- Tac Toe activities 2. Open ended type of questions : A) What do you know about topic X B) How are Chanukah and Purim related C) what connection is there between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur3. Guiding questions 4. Move from simple questions to provocative questions: simple question: What was the effect of the Civil War? Provocative question: Is the Civil War still going on?5. Phrasing : What is the moral of the story, What is a real world example, How is _____used/ applied in the larger world

Based on the book, Changing the Way You Teach Improving the Way Students Learn, by Martin-Kniep and Picone-Zocchia. Source: Developing and Integrating Big Ideas by Chani Maybruch

Teacher planningHow do I need toteach and adjust inorder for my studentsto successfully displaytheir knowledge of mydesired results?

Source: Based on Assessing through the prism of D.I. by Rabbi Tzvi Kolslowe

Show them the Love Making a Kesher with our Students

Students respond better to those whom they respect rather than fearHelping your students reach their potentialTo help someone reach their potentialCatch them doing something good

23Instilling that Love and warmth Emilys story Focus on the positive

Instilling that Love and warmth When we feel valued and cared for, our brain releases the neurotransmitters of pleasure. This helps us enjoy our work more. ( Jensen- Teaching with the Brain in mind)

Beers add to this: Sometimes, students who are confused by feedback from the teacher will completely understand when a peer makes a similar comment.( Learning Driven Schools) Change= GrowthIf you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten is not true regarding teaching and learning. If we continue to use the same procedures year after year we will get Less than we have gotten.

( Learning Driven Schools by Barry Beers)Jim Collins in his book Good to Great says the following Indeed the real question is not Why Greatness but what work makes you feel compelled to try to create greatness. If you have to ask the question why should we make it great isnt success enough? Then you are probably engaged in the wrong line of workGood to Great Thank you and I look forward to traveling with you on the journey towards excellence and becoming AGreat School