Experiential learning is an important component, for it closely resembles the ancient Indigenous methods of learning, and I want to find strategies to more deeply engage my First Nations students. Experiential learning can create a more meaningful experience for the student, and this is often lacking for the Native student. I plan to implement this as a lesson plan component in a combination of projects and classroom activities that are a part of cultural learning. This will replace the overuse of worksheets and rote writing.
You can learn more about this at: http://www.ryerson.ca/content/dam/lt/resources/handouts/ExperientialLearningReport.pdf.
This component has great value, for it is often difficult for a non-Native instructor to connect with native students. Humour (especially Native) is one of the best ways to interact with Native students. The author of the linked article indicates that humour can be helpful, but it must be kept appropriate, and humour is most appropriate when it is related to the current lesson. This can be achieved by including the humorous expressions of First Nations authors such as Richard Wagamese, Drew Hayden Taylor, and Thomas King. When I use First Nations humour, I am helping my students become comfortable in their new class, while introducing themt o some of the best literature in North America.
This article had some good suggestions for using humour in the classroom.
Motivational Techniques: Goal Setting
Maintaining motivation in an adult classroom can often be very difficult, and retention is also a major concern. S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based) goals have been proven to be very effective, and I already use this component for the Career and Education planning unit. I now see that these goals can be have many more applications. I will be using these concepts throughout the year to guide students toward intrinsic rewards. S.M.A.R.T goals will become a weekly part of our class, as students will be encouraged to use these goals to organize their tasks, direct their own behavior, and celebrate success. I also want to implement class goals that are generated by the teacher and the students.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are explained here
Instructional Process/Strategies: Active Learning
Class lectures can be important, but I chose to explore active learning to find strategies to break away from the lecture format. With these methods, I will more deeply engage students and involve the entire class in positive learning experiences. I am most interested in including better discussion techniques, role playing, role reversal, and jigsaw team work. A short lecture followed by an activity that gets students out of their seats and working on an exercise will break through shyness, create fun learning opportunities, and alleviate boredom.
Explore this article for more ideas:
Structured Lesson Planning
Lesson plans are important, yet I often feel as if I am just “flying by the seat of my pants”. This component challenged me to look at structured ways of planning. I am excited about having a structured guide for creating effective lesson plans. The templates that I found on the Alberta Ministry of Education site also provide templates for multiple intelligences and tools for assessing the outcome of the lesson. I will use these lesson plan templates to assist me in creating strong, exciting, and inclusive lessons in the future.
You can find the templates here: