Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Starting to craft my class

Adding 1 components to a system, especially a major one, changes everything. So, with the addition of FLE3 how do I do labs? lectures? class discussions? Perhaps more importantly, how will I contextualize these old activities? I've tried to create a self-sustaining constructivist environment, but this aint no easy deal. Sure, some days or some lessons go great, but keeping the log burning is hard.

I have high hopes for what FLE3 can help me do. I want that to be the center of students program. It will create the context for everything else. Let me work through this... I show students some cool video/movie about the topic of study. I show them some dissonant event, they experience directly the topic of study. Somehow I must get them focused in the right direction with some data, story, or whatever. From there, they will write question as they come to their mind.

What do I do with this interest and this body of questions? Somehow I must get these questions organized around the cognitive goals of the course. In the "Interrogative Model of Inquiry" by Jaakko Hintikka and Matti Sintonen I need us--the class--to focus on the 'big questions' the explanation-seeking kind. Starting with this level of question will help bound the conceptual space (does this question help us understand the big question?). I like that. Perhaps I will create the big questions based on the cognitive goals, then students will write their questions on sentence-strips and then cluster them around the big question they lean towards. Questions that didn't seem to head towards any of the big questions could be in an, 'interesting other questions' or some such.

I wonder if putting the questions on a synchronously edited map using Cmap software might be a better ideas since I don't even have a bulletin board in my new room! I must be careful using correct names for the different 'bubble maps'. Anyway, this could be a cool way with me coming up with the big questions, based on the different parts of the curriculum, students clustering their lower level, more factual questions around them. Then, each one of the lower level questions could become a FLE3 thread-starter. This might lead to a way to integrate lessons into a FLE mediated Inquiry. I know these kids like leading their own inquiry and I know they like structure and predictability--maybe FLE3 on certain days and the whole panoply of lessons on certain other days... I don't know, I don't think I like it, but it would help me, too, to provide some structure to my activities...

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