Share Your Experience

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If you have used teaching materials reviewed on CollectEdNY, we invite you to share your experience in the comments at the end of each review. As adult education teachers, we often have to adapt materials so that they are appropriate for our classes. Reflection on the choices you make as a teacher are helpful for others who are considering using these resources. We especially want to hear when things didn’t go as planned or questions came up that you hadn’t expected. Of course, we also want to hear when things go well. Tell us how your students respond to these materials.

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One thought on “Share Your Experience

  1. A peak through the porthole of the HMS Beagle and through a door, slightly ajar, into the study of a grossly under appreciated scholar.

    Copious note taking, collecting of specimen, gathering, organizing, collaborating, all component parts of Darwin’s exhausting, oftentimes agonizing process.

    When we consider a time line of life on our planet we might recognize what a small but interconnected world we truly live in. The experience, and once again I have to say it was truly immersive, gave me an opportunity to peek into the life and work of Charles Darwin.

    Individually, and in group we had opportunity to consider the evidence of natural selection, compare, contrast and share our observation and prediction. One of my personal take aways, it’s all right to be wrong.

    The pre-workshop assignments and selected podcasts gave us another window into the world and work of a scientist and scholar who many of us, and teachers before us, have ignored if not run fast away from.

    My overarching, or global takeaway from the four ELA Institutes is implied within the content chosen and the approach taken in delivering that content. That takeaway is one we all need to turnkey with teachers in our local RAENS and programs.

    At the end of the day, and on the day of the test, our students need to understand in the content areas of Science and Social Studies that this new exam, in all of its forms, is going to be an assessment tool which measures their recognition of, and not a total mastery of, unifying themes and high emphasis content areas.

    Instructional shifts must focus around introducing students to the devices and tools they will use throughout college, a chosen career, and in their own process of sifting through the many options, or choices they make as a consumer, responsible parent, citizen and lifetime learner.

    Devices, and skills students need to develop in using them, will include: timelines, maps, graphic organizers, cartoons, photos, print media and charts.

    In the profession of teaching we need to recognize that the majority of our students today are visual and hands on learners. They need to be given increasing responsibility and control of the learning process. They must be given opportunity to consider evidence, make predictions, gather support for an argument, arrive at their own, or a group’s conclusion and present their findings, both orally and in writing.

    I want my students to take a position, gather support, write a coherent argument, and take comfort in the essential idea of science and learning: It’s okay to be wrong! But, this process of life and learning taken in view of Mr. Darwin is a voyage, it’s both exhausting and exhilarating. It’s small adaptation, small changes in habit and habitat. And, it all requires time, struggle, survival of the fittest to the test, and all those which come afterwards, in school, in life.

    I want to give a shout out to all the brave souls who contributed to our experience, the Purga’s, the Matt’s, the RAEN Directors, the NYSED and CUNY teams, and all my fellow collaborators across the breadth, width, and depth of this great State of New York.

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