Posted: August 6th, 2013
The learning activity and the objectives
For this activity, I chose to focus on sixth grade students where the subject area I chose is Science. This being an exciting subject that has a wide range of sub-topics, I found that it would be fascinating to the students as they are young and full of curiosity, where knowing little about the world of science would heighten their interest. Science is an intriguing subject full of visual wonders, and in this case, the activity that I found most appropriate is earth science. The activity I chose was to show the features resulting from earth science processes to the students, using visual presentations while guiding them in discovering the reasons for the existence of these features. This was to be done while discussing with them the processes involved in occurrence and formation of these earth science features. Hence, I would use technology to show the students the said features and explain to them how the earth system works leading to the formation of these features by use of discussions, having prepared discussion questions and notes.
My objectives for this activity include providing a clear understanding of the subject matter to my students. Therefore, my presentation will be systematic and organized in such a way that each picture is accompanied by explanations that will be useful in discussions with the students. This will result in easier understanding of each feature shown. Therefore, by the end of the activity, my students will be able to identify each feature and explain its formation and the processes involved resulting to its existence. The conditions upon which I expect the students to be able to identify what was learnt in the lesson are upon seeing the feature; the student should correctly identify it. They should also be able to identify an earth science feature by the explanation of the formation process. By correctly answering the discussion questions at the end of the activity, the students will show that they fully understand the intended lesson from the activity (Newby, 2005).
The instructional methods that would result in the most understanding of the activity
In the class activity I prepared, I decided to incorporate three instructional methods for effective communication of information. The three instructional methods I decided to apply are presentation, discovery and discussions. The first method I found to be of most use being presentation is in the form of visual presentation. This means that I would show images to the students and let them grasp the images, as visual learning can at times be more effective than use of notes especially when the images have a dramatic effect (Smaldino, Rusell, Heinich, Molenda, 2005). This would be used as a form of orientation to introduce them to the subject matter without going into the details hence giving them the chance to guess and try to come up with their own conclusions before I explained to them what the main topic was (Newby, 2005).
The other instructional method I found would be appropriate especially when used with the visual presentations was discovery. Some of the discussion questions I set, together with the visual images, are aimed at encouraging students to come up with creative guesses and suggestions to the new information they are learning. This would be aimed at trying to discover what it is that they see on the presentation (Newby, 2005).
The last strategy that I would use in the activity would be use of discussions. Here, I would use the notes I have prepared to explain the main lessons in line with earth science to the students. I would explain the processes involved in the formation of the features they had just seen, the phenomenon that occurs resulting in the earth science features. I would encourage the student to ask questions which I would answer, and engage them in discussions until I was satisfied that they fully understand what they were meant to. After that, I would then ask them the discussion questions, and when they gave satisfactory answers, I would conclude that the activity objectives had been achieved.
The technology I would incorporate in the activity
The technology I would employ in class would be the use of PowerPoint slides that would use some slides with images, others with notes while I would include both images and notes in others. The reason I would use PowerPoint slides is that information is entered in the slides in a summarized manner but still brings out the main idea hence it is easy to understand information relayed in a PowerPoint slide from the summary points (Robyler, 2005). Another reasons that I would use PowerPoint is that it allows use of both text and images, and since one can make as many slide as they need, it would be possible to put each point or image in its own slide making explanation in the discussion stage easy. The slides also have a section for speaker notes at the bottom of each slide hence it would be possible to put an image in the slide and put discussion questions relating to it in the speaker note section, making the learning process less cumbersome (Robyler, 2005).
While using PowerPoint slides, I would put visual images of naturally occurring phenomenon such as volcanoes, hydrological and meteorological satellites images and images showing magnetic fields in the first slides. This would capture the students’ interest and make them curious. In the speaker notes, I would put leading questions that would guide the students to try to figure out what the pictures has to do with earth science. In the slides following, I would have explanatory notes that I would expound upon to enable students to understand the main idea behind earth science processes and the resulting formations. In the last slides, I would put discussion questions, which I would go through with the students to test their understanding of the activity. Here, I would answer their questions where they had difficulty understanding.
Newby, T. (2005). Educational Technology for Teaching and Learning. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. Print.
Roblyer, M. (2005). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (4th Edition). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. Print.
Smaldino, S., Russell, J.D., Heinich, R., & Molenda, M. (2005). Instructional Technology and Media for Learning (8th Edition). Columbus, OH: Merrill/ Prentice Hall. Print.
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