Sunday, July 14, 2013

Blog Post 14

Blog Post Assignment

What can we learn about getting high school students engaged with learning?

Educators forget that high students need to be engaged in their learning the same way an elementary student should be enticed to learn. Watch these two videos that come from the Teaching Channel and respond to the question using them.

Today I assigned myself to read Literacy Through Creative Dance and Strategies for Student-Centered Discussion.

In the video, Literacy Through Creative Dance, the class at the Bronx Academy had to analyze a poem in order to create a dance portraying literacy devices. The girls separated into group, read the poems to develop expressions, and improvised interpretative dance movements using the words of the poem. The girls displayed a deep connection for the work. Because of that, they were able to comprehend and present the assignment with ease.

In Strategies for Student-Centered Discussion, Ms. Sara Brown Wessling had a different strategy for getting her class interested in learning literature. Her class read the novel A Good Man is Hard to Find, and Ms. Wessling established a learning goal geared towards creating a student-centered discussion. As the class explored the underlying theme in the novel, Ms. Wessling posed opened-ended questions to let the students bounce ideas off of each other as well as acknowledge each other through eye contact. Ms. Wessling became a part of the discussion and was proud to learn the book through her students' perspective.

Enticing high English students to learn is difficult, so I chose to design this assignment because in the examples the students are inspired and supported to think critically, be creative, and interact with each other. The students felt like the project belonged to them, so they were engaged in it deeply.

As teachers we have to let students drive their learning because they are the ones that have to retain it. I learned that if I want to create a good student-centered discussion I have to write down questions I want to ask in order to seem like a participant. I also learned to put effort into making a creative lesson plan.


  1. 1) I'll add the dance video for next semester. I wonder why she says this is not her "regular English class" What is it?

    2) The student centered discussion is an excellent example of what PBL is intended to generate. I'll add this video also. Small group discussions probably would have made it even better.

    Very good

  2. Sherri,
    I found your videos, summaries, and ideas to be very creative and thoughtful! What worries me considerably are the amount of errors in punctuation (commas), subject-verb agreement, and also, we italicize book titles (not underline). As an English major, I am very concerned with over-checking my grammar because I don't want anyone to question my knowledge of the topic. As a teacher of English, be sure to proof-read even more than most others would because parents, faculty, and students will try to catch you with errors, or they will assume that you are correct even if you are not.

    Just something to always be on top of! Keep up the good work and dedication to creative teaching methods! :)


    1. Thank you for those corrections. I'll be sure to fix them when I'm on a device more comfortable than a phone. Thanks for that advice about over-checking. I think I should try doing it when I'm not exhausted. This class did show me I'm not good at editing when I overload myself.