Teaching Skills

Good Planning for Good Teaching

With the requirement of state and national standards dictating the essential knowledge and skills students are supposed to have achieved when finishing a course, it is important to have curriculum, instruction, and assessment properly aligned. It may be peculiar that I begin the teaching skills strategy with that statement, but at this point in education it does not matter what kind of teaching skills I posses if the students do not obtain the knowledge and skills set forth in the standards. Therefore, the first step to good teaching is good planning, and I discussed this on the Planning for Teaching page. On this page, I displayed a table containing the daily topic, question, learning outcomes, and activities, and for this competency I want to focus on the activities. I chose activities during planning that provided for individual differences in the classroom through different modalities, which means that activities were accomplished different actions. Some activities were performed more through visual means, such as reading or watching, some through audio means, and others through kinesthetic means. Many activities in this unit on heat and temperature had two or three modalities, which further helps provide for individual differences and engage students in learning. The following chart shows the various activities the in which the students participated and its modality category, and I have also included technology to give an explicit reference to those activities that involve technology:

Activity
Visual
Audio
Kinesthetic
Technology
Trading books


x

Average heights
x
x

x
Molecular motion machine
x
x


Presentation
x
x

x
3-2-1
x



Worksheets
x



Homework Review
x
x

x
Simulation on computer
x
x

x
Think-pair-square-share
x
x

x
Ice laboratory
x
x
x

Graphical organizer
x
x


Currents demonstration
x
x


Sun demonstration
x
x


Venn diagram
x
x


Heat transfer laboratory
x
x
x
x
Melting blocks activity
x
x
x

Video
x
x

x
Test review
x
x

x

Strategies

Employing strategies that provide for individual differences also helps with both the variety of effective strategies and the engagement of students. It should not come as a surprise that physical science is a science class, and as such the students participate in laboratory activities. These activities are effective in teaching students both about the content and other aspects of laboratory work, such as safety and proper handling of materials. When structured correctly, such as in the 4 Question Strategy, laboratory activities also help develop students’ critical thinking skills by encouraging them to first think of how to solve a problem and then using the given materials to actually solve the problem. Labs also keep the students engaged by enabling them to work with their hands and minds to solve a problem, which in turn causes them to ask further questions about the content.

Relating Content

Another aspect in teaching skills is relating the content to students’ everyday lives in a manner that excites and causes them to become curious about the content. Within the heat and temperature unit, I tried to do this by connecting the content being discussed with shared experiences. These included heating and air conditioning systems, cooking, wind movements, steam engines, heating a cup of coffee in the microwave, etc.

Unfortunately, no video...

While I would have loved to upload video of myself teaching, I did not think it was ethical to include students without their permission. Therefore, I do not have any video of myself teaching, which would have been the best type of artifact for this competency.