Hmmm…. rethinking structures of lessons

Posted on November 22, 2014


When I was a ferocious Language Fundamentals teacher, each class was scheduled a whole lot like swim team practice… warm up, some technique work, some real exertion, and a cool down. Not exactly, of course, but our 50 minutes had chunks with patterns.
What is the effect of the way students are learning on stuff they’re carrying around with them, or ‘whenever’?
What would draw students to, say, short little bursts of doing something? Long, extracted sessions? For the most part, ALEKS induces the long workout… as did Modumath the last two days with a student striving to place really well, who wants to become an inventor. He got a little frustrated with the word problems because he had forgotten about the amazing and powerful “if you know they add up to 40, then you don’t have two variables any more. You have x and 40 – x.” I informed him that these were big deal problems and that not having mastered it in two days should not discourage him. Since he seems to be drawn to the logic aspects, I suggested he consider programming, tho’ I’d tell him what I was told: take it face to face.
(Tangent: most ‘education’ these days would not instill that mental discipline to build understanding and fluency with logic structures… well, no, it’s not a tangent. ALEKS does *not* instill the understanding and fluency with logic structures as well as it should — and perhaps could! — because of the fragmentary nature of the little pieces of pie, and the utterly non-conceptual “explain” pages.)
If people cna’t go for five minutes without gazing at screens, could we get ’em to set ’em so that … here we go… while they’re waiting for the 30 second ad to run to get to whatever they want to see, they can get another 5 points on their Math Badge Collection?
Well, time to see if I can fix whateve rlittle thing is messing up my “subtraction number line,” and try to make D2L quizzes…
almost… Do online courses ever have a “pick what kind of session you want” so that you click and sort of ‘commit’ to spending 5, 10, 15, 50 minutes doing that? Could you set your device to shut everything off but that? (Oh, snork, I meatn for the adult who wanted to, but teachers would love it)…

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