Purpose and Play

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Reflection on Learning Theories and Learning Styles

Summer has been a roller-coaster so far! I have been teaching summer school so I’m technically NOT on summer break quite yet.  It’s been interesting to teach 2nd grade and to use a little bit of what I’ve learned so far as it pertains to learning styles and learning theories.

In the beginning of this course, I felt as an educator that I pretty much knew all there is to know about learning styles and learning theories, but I’m happy to say that I’ve learned so much more since taking this course. As a learner, I still feel as though I am a visual learner who needs hands-on opportunities to learn concepts; but I also feel that I connect best with lessons that utilize the constructivist and adult learning theories.

I have learned that in order for students of all ages to learn, use of ALL of the learning theories and learning styles must take place.  All learners are individuals and we all learn in different ways.  Although we may have a preference in our learning styles, we can learn through all of the learning styles.  We may find our optimal learning through a specific learning theory but we can learn from different learning theories.  I am also seeing how that we may learn certain concepts well one way but others a whole different way.  It is amazing how the brain works.  Personally, I am a primary visual learner but I can see how well I also learn through collaboration, interactive materials and problem-based scenarios.

Technology was not a primary source of learning in my past.  I am a GenXer who was in middle school by the time computers were in the classroom – and they were mainly for typing. Lol! I do feel as though I have grown up with technology in that I can remember what to do without it.  I can do both.  Now, at this point in my life, technology is starting to play more of an important role in my learning due to the fact that it seems I will be changing grade levels – which one is still up in the air.  It will be important for me to zone in on technology even more because I will have to use it much more than I had to in early childhood.  I will need to utilize technology that will not only be beneficial to me but also to my students.  I also see how technology is becoming more prevalent in my everyday personal life as well with aspects such as social media.

I hope that I will can continue to be enlightened by the courses I am undertaking.  It is important to me to keep up with the times.

I will have to keep you posted on which grade level I finally end up in – I might be teaching a grade! Wow!

With purpose and play,

J’Anzia

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School’s out for summer…but not out for me

Hello All!

Well…it’s FINALLY summer time! I have been a continuous roller coaster for the past couple of weeks. I’m still wrapping my head around some new changes.

In my instructional design class we have been discussing how adults learn differently than children and how they learn the same.  We also discussed how being self-directed as an adult can have its pros and cons. I for one am a self-directed adult learner.  I learn best alone for the most part and I do use my past experiences to help me learn new concepts.  I have found that when it comes to subjects where I am weaker (math, technology) I do find myself needing to be with a small cooperative group or a partner.

Now…time for my news…

BIGGEST CHANGE:

I have been moved from Pre-Kindergarten, my grade level of choice, my passion…into Kindergarten. Now, I must say that I took the news better than I thought I would. I always imagined myself thinking that I would go into some kind of frenzy if I was ever told to move into a different grade level.  But, the frenzy didn’t come…maybe because I was too numb and in shock when my principal picked me to move to a different grade level.  I was also informed that not only would I be changing grade levels, I would also have to move out of my “home” for the past 11 years into a new classroom.  On top of that, I will be departmentalized (reading and writing). My head is still spinning.

I’m also teaching summer school this year…WOW! Can my plate get any fuller? I hope not…

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The Blog Life Continues…

I have really enjoyed my instructional design courses. I think I’m a nerd. Lol!! We have been been reading blogs that focus on learning theories and “-isms” and how it’s important to balance all theories to suit all learners.
My favorite post so far is Bill Kerr’s “Isms as a Filter, Not a Blinker”. The post details a conversation between him and a couple other bloggers who are experts in e-learning. It was a great read that made excellent points on both the pro and con side of behaviorism. It’s so funny how some things in education are so stagnant…they never evolve or change. The education field has (IMO) been the least adaptive to change in comparison to other fields. Although I am a proponent for a healthy dose of the “old-school” and “traditions”; I can also see how new ideas can and should be used in education to teach today’s learners.
We have always heard that the human mind is like a computer but in reality, it is so much more.
I am looking forward to seeing what else I will discover about learning and instructional design.

With purpose and play!
J

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Finding Resources…

One of my assignments for this week was to find resources that highlight the brain and learning along with information processing and problem solving.  There are so many different websites that hone in on brain based learning and how it applies to students today.  Out of the ones I researched, I found two that are extremely insightful and valuable. As an instructional designer, it is important to be resource savvy and these two websites house just about everything you need.

The first site I found was www.funderstanding.com. Right away, I could see that this site is full of different types of resources for educators and parents.  There are articles on different educational topics such as brain based learning and learning management systems.  An educator or a parent could find anything they are looking for on this site.

The second site I found was www.brainconnection.brainhq.com.  This site has a plethora of activities, resources, lesson plans and activities.  The best part is the brain games which are similar to the educational games that I use with my students.  Just like Funderstanding, this is a one stop shop for all things you need.

I think both of these resources are valuable because of the wealth of information you can find on both of these sites.  There are articles, games, lesson plans, blog post, the list goes on and on. I think I will use both of these websites to expand my knowledge of brain based learning along with obtaining activities and lesson plans that can be tailored to my students to meet their individual needs.

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The Blog Life

So…I have survived my first full week of my instructional design course and so far it’s been so enlightening. I’ve read some great posts from my classmates about how we learn as educators.  I’ve learned that I’m a visual/hands-on learner. I have to see and do or else I’m completely lost and bored. Is anyone else like that? I’m also learning more about learning theories and how it differs from learning styles.  It’s amazing that as an educator for almost 12 years, I have never given a thought about how I learn. I guess it just proves that you’re never too old to learn.

I’ve also decided that I am really kinda digging this blog thing!  🙂

I think even after my coursework is over, I will continue to blog about all things Early Childhood!  This is a great way to house all of my resources and tips that have helped me survive the “babies” all these years. Lol! I think my experience and knowledge could be helpful to teachers who are just starting out in the early childhood classroom. It’s a totally different world from elementary classrooms.

With Purpose and Play

J

 

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Instructional Design Overview

I’m currently studying instructional design and one of my assignments was to research and bookmark blogs that are relevant to instructional design.  Here are my thoughts on these blogs:

christytucker.wordpress.com

Christy Tucker has struck me as an instructional design guru.  Her “About Me” section alone made me excited to see more of her page.  She has all kinds of posts from “what does an instructional designer do” to “blogging to build your business”.  Her site is very comprehensive and informative.  This blog is especially useful to someone like me who is still figuring out what instructional design is and how to use it to help students become more academically successful.  This is the site I will use as a reference base for any questions I have about this field of study.

theelearningcoach.com

This site by Connie Malamed digs deeper into instructional design.  She addresses concepts such as persuasion, analogies and learning objectives.  She also posts about new concepts such as “realistic e-learning” and “mircolearning”.  This site gets into the meat of instructional design and explores several concepts that are mind-boggling to me.  This site is useful to the instructional designer who is researching “out of the box” ideas.  This is a site that I will reference for ideas.

elearningfeeds.com

This site is basically a Facebook for instructional designers. There are so many articles on this page, it’s almost a little overwhelming.  I did like the fact that you can scroll through different articles and that there are tabs for “news” and “trends”.  This site has the feel of a social media page for instructional designers.  I think this site will be the go to place for trends and concepts in the field.

There were also quite a few other sites that I enjoyed exploring; these are the Top 3 for me.  I am looking forward to reaching out to Christy Tucker and getting some of her insight into this new world of learning with purpose and play.

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