Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chapter 4 Questions: Effective Teaching Skills

2) What are some things teachers can do to improve communication with learners in task presentation?
         There are eight different approaches a teacher can take to improve communication in task presentation. The first is setting an introduction, and a successful introduction has the ability to grab the learners attention to the criteria of the presentation. In a typical introduction the speaker wants to talk about something interesting, like a story that ties into the lesson. The teacher should cover what he/she will be doing, how it will be done, and why it is being taught over the course of the introduction. Second, the material being presented must be organized, so the teacher does not confuse any students. It is logical to go in chronological order because the material will be easier to follow and the concept makes the most sense. Presenting in chronological order has proved to be successful, so don't fix what isn't broken. Third, individuals learn well when the examples are given throughout the presentation. For some reason, people understand concepts when examples and non-examples are provided. Examples help people gain an understanding what right from wrong is. Fourth, the teacher can personalize the presentation because it gives the feeling everyone is involved. Providing the audience with personal experiences about yourself and/or between the teacher and students helps maintain interest in the material.
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        Fifth, repetition is a key facet of task presentation as it allows the learners to understand ideas which may be difficult to grasp. When the teacher wants to make a key point during the presentation it is important for him/her to repeat over and over for clarity. There is no moving forward until everyone understands the main focus of the presentation and the key ideas expressed by the speaker.  Sixth, it is important to relate the content to the personal experiences of students because it keeps the students engaged in the presentation. The teacher needs to be capable to bridge together old experiences with present experiences occurring in class. Seventh, the teacher must check for understanding because when students are asked if they know the material no one will raise his/her hand due to possible embarrassment. It is important for the teacher to gather feedback from the students because it will ensure the teacher his/her students grasp the material being presented. The teacher can either call out a specific student or create a list of questions the students must answer throughout the presentation and review the questions at the end of the presentation. Lastly, the ability to present the material in a dynamic fashion is important. Instead of speaking in a monotone voice the entire presentation it is vital to switch up the volume, pitch, and tone between teacher and students. Teachers must understand to utilize his/her voice dynamics to be effective and have a presentation the students stay attentive in.

3) What are guidelines for using demonstration effectively?
        To produce an effective demonstration the teacher must follow seven guidelines. The first guideline is double checking if the information from teacher to student is accurate. Students rely on the teacher to provide him/her with the correct technique. So, it is important for the teacher to fully demonstrate the motions more than once and from an array of angles. One child might learn better when seeing the body movements from a specific angle. Second, if a student is capable of demonstrating as well or better than the teacher have the student perform the demonstration. Now, the teacher can turn his/her focus on the students watching to stress the important aspects of the task. Third, the teacher needs to be able to demonstrate the task exactly how the students will be performing it. For example, if the class is covering volleyball and the ball has to be tossed over the net during the activity the teacher should present the task in this manner. Children need correct visual examples because it helps the students understand organizational format of the activity. Fourth, a quality demonstration has to emphasize the important information about the activity. The essential parts of a skill needs to be highlighted several times, so the students can comprehend the critical points. When a teacher highlights the vital information it is important for him/her to express it verbally and visually. To express it visually the teacher should try and freeze during the demonstration of the key points of the task.
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        Fifth, information should be provided for why the skill being performed in a certain manner. For some instances it is performed to follow the rules of the game or to properly follow the principles of movement. When demonstrating the skill it is important to perform the skill at a slow speed, so the observers can understand the motion. Sixth, teachers check for the students understanding on the newly learned skill. A teacher can ask a question immediately after the demonstration was given, but it is incorrect to let the students practice without checking for understanding. There are several ways a teacher can check for a student's understanding. Lastly, the demonstration must occur more than once for the students to properly understand. Every time the demonstration is repeated the performance should be shown at an alternate angle. It is difficult for students to grasp the motions of a skill after one demonstration.

5) What are the characteristics of good learning cues? Design a set of learning cues you would use with young beginning learners and then for older advanced learners for a closed skill, open skill, and movement concept.
        The characteristics of good learning cues consist of accuracy, critical to the task, few in number, and must be appropriate for the age and skill. A learning cue is a phrase which communicates as much information about a specific skill efficiently. The teacher must teach accurate skills because students should not be misinformed. When a student is mislead he/she may develop bad habits that become difficult to correct. If a teacher is unsure how to properly demonstrate a cue he/she should receive the correct information from a reliable source. The teacher being capable to selecting cues has high importance as it provides the learners with good visuals on how to perform correct technique. Demonstrating cues should highlight the critical points of the skill. While providing information to students the teacher does not want to overwhelm the students with too many cues. Performing cue after cue will cause the students to forget or lose the attention of the class. A teacher should work with a few at a time until the cues are mastered. Cues should be appropriate for the age and skill level the teacher is instructing. The educator does not want to introduce a complicated cue to beginning learners because the cue is to difficult to understand or complete. It is important for the teacher to remember the age group he/she teaches and the ways he/she can modify cues for the different skill levels within the class.
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        For young beginning learners I would have them dribble a basketball stationary for a few minutes as a closed skill. I would have them concentrate on having the legs shoulder width apart, head up, and bouncing the ball off the finger tips. Next, the open skill would consist of a defender playing at 80%, so he/she is not stealing the ball away from the dribbler. The dribbler needs to become accustomed to having another player attempting to steal the ball. Keeping the head up would be greatly stressed, but the student still needs to remember the basics of dribbling a basketball. A movement concept would be incorporated by having the dribbler to try to dribble from baseline to baseline with a defender trying to steal the ball. The player has to keep the ball close to the body at all time while being guarded. For older advanced learners I would have them begin with shooting free-throws as a closed skill. The student needs to focus on feet shoulder width apart, eyes on the basket, and perfect follow through. Then, the open skill would progress to the three point line where he/she will receive passes from all around the arc with a defender running at him/her and they would be asked to shoot. I would tell the student to stay square to the basket with arms up and ready to catch. When the student catches the ball remember to follow through and pump fake if needed. The movement concept would have the student on the run around the three point area where he/she will quickly catch and shoot. The player must keep his/her head up when dribbling, ready to catch the ball, square up before shooting, and complete the shot with following through.

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