In this project, I was assigned to view and comment on two posts from Mr. Chamberlain's blog, At the Teacher's Desk>
The first post I read was A Better Way to Learn and Teach Vocabulary. He explained a method of teaching students how to define vocabulary words with a three-step system. First, he writes the word on the board. Next, he draws a picture of what the word means to him. Last, he explains to the students why that particular picture reminds him of the word. The results of this approach were "immediate improvement" in students who had previously scored poorly! In my comment to him, I explained that the human brain is remarkable in the way it links images, smells and other senses to words in our memories. I told him that for a definition to "stick" in my mind, I had to see it, read it and write it repeatedly, but I thought that linking a word to an image I constructed in my mind would help me to remember the word better. I thanked him for sharing this idea and told him I would implement this method in my own learning, in teaching my daughter and in my own classroom.
The second post from Mr. Chamberlain was Why I Require My Students to Blog. He says the main reason he has his students blog is so they can communicate with a large, varied audience in order to create conversations between his students and their audience. He explains that it is important for students to converse through writing because it boosts their self-esteem and causes them to think. They can share their passions, hopes, ideas and dreams with others, no matter where they live. I responded that blogging is like the present-day method of writing in a journal and could serve as a therapy, an outlet or release for students. Not only does blogging teach the students a bit of technology, but positive affirmations from peers and adults will give a child pride in his or her accomplishments and make them more confident in writing or speaking to others. I explained to Mr. Chamberlain that this blog made me realize why Dr. Strange has us commenting on posts from our classmates, teachers and students around the world.