Originally published-February 15, 2013
This week's focus was the use of WBTs CoreFour-Mirrors. Students were given a quick review of Mirror directions, including student and teacher roles during Mirror activities. This week, students used the mirror technique to remember the causes and impacts of the Great Depression. Prep work and planning of the lesson to pre-determine gestures proved very benificial as no time was wasted teaching students gestures. Students were taught one gesture before adding a second, and practiced these using CoreFours Teach/Ok before adding a third and fourth Great Depression Cause. The same routine followed on subsequent days for depression impacts. Students enjoyed gesturing and repeating information more so than with traditional lecturing. By allowing paired students to practice in small groups, students were 'forced' to participate when the Switch technique was used. This proved benificial because all learners had an opportunity to participate and activate the brain. The use of Teach/Ok allowed for a quick teacher assessment of student abilities to repeat the gestures for mastery of the concept. More rehearsal is necessary to master and remember the concepts. Perhaps an assignment could be made to practice gestures at home. Or, a video recording could be placed on the teacher created blog or Edmodo for students to use and practice with at home. Time is a factor to record and upload videos, but it is a possibility. Other teacher observations were made, including the following: Students wanted to repeat 'teacher words' while being taught gestures. Several students in each of the four history classes also wanted to continue gesturing even when Mirrors was not being used. This 'did Not' keep the dear teacher happy. After watching a WBT YouTube video by Kate Bowski, the action research cycle will be adjusted. WBT Mirrors will now include two types: Mirrors and Mirrors and Words. When Mirrors is used, students will ONLY mirror gestures. They will not speak. When Mirrors and Words is used, students will both gesture and repeat with words. A teacher gesture will also be used to indicate Mirrors and Mirrors and Words is complete. Will the use of Mirrors and Mirrors and Words improve student focus, participation, and proper use of gesturing during the learning process?