Archive for February, 2009

It is with deep regret that I confess to my absence online over these last couple of months. My blog lies dormant yet students I have taught seem to be reflecting on their learning consistently. I was reading Tanuj’s blog and was struck by his ongoing commitment and dedication to learning. He reflects on the ‘goals’ he has set himself and I am astounded. His journey has been a joy to a part of and when our paths crossed the other day, I was reminded of the passion and motivation I took to class with me each lesson last year. We were a community of learners in a student-centred learning environment, filled with positive attitude and most certainly rewarding experiences.

I have been longing for the return of that enthusiasm and today my prayer was answered.

Project Based Learning brings with it many challenges but one first and foremost can not underestimate their students and be willing to share the journey of learning together. Simon Breen brings the term ‘team’ to team teaching. Forever we have read literature on a true team teaching relationship. One example is where one teacher is seen by the students as the primarily facilitator and the other as simply crowd control, this model I truly believe is detrimental to a positive learning environment and difficult to overcome.

Ideally, team teaching is shared. I don’t believe that shared is synonymous necessarily with equal workload. I do believe that team teachers model what is it they expect their students within the PBL framework to achieve – an environment where collaboration is essential.

Our initial lessons of direct instruction where we engaged with the students from the outset – Simon even donned a wig to present an image of the 1960s which made our students even sit on the edge of their seats and listen to the story that he was able to tell in order to set the context our integrated lesson on the Power of the Spoken Word.

In addition to this, we were also careful in planning to integrate our subjects for when we taught Letter to the Editor as well.

Today, we were able to launch our new Social Studies project, "The Voices of the Other." I was able to design this entry document using Zoho Notebook. I experienced the frustrations that I am expecting the students to experience themselves using this program as they also stop and develop their own e-archive based on the experience of one migrant group to Australia.


We also facilitated the forming of the "Know" and "Need to Know" List as we were both familiar with the entry document and the expectations of the project as well as the outcomes that need to be met in the rubric. The students are certainly observing a united team teaching relationship and I am certainly aware of it too.


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