Constructivism in Teaching

1. At this website, go to the videos and view classrooms where the constructivist approach is being used. Compare the classroom activities and environment to a traditional classroom. Post your findings on blackboard. In one particular video with the parachute, the activity and materials were hands-on and visual which gave students a better way to relate rather than reading about it in a textbook and answering questions in a workbook. Many of the videos showed interactive learning which was wonderful. The students were building on what they had previously learned or knew. Examples: Relating what students knew about spiders to sharks and parachutes landing in relation to people landing with parachutes. A traditional approach would just be repetition of the information which leads to memorization not actual learned knowledge. Lastly, I noticed students were mostly sitting in a large group with the teacher which makes the environment more inviting and warm so students are more willing to open up and share their ideas. 2. At this website, go to exploration and read this section. Describe how you could implement constructivism into your class room. Everything about the constructivist approach sounds effective and great. I have been trying to implement using partner talk and groups in many lessons for 100% engagement. I have seen a tremendous boost in understanding and confidence in my students. I do know that I need to create situations for more reflecting and questioning so my students are able to develop and assess their understanding. I would like to implement principle 3 and 5 of the constructivist approach into my classroom. At times, my students do seem threatened and embarrassed to share in the class discussions. I would like more open-ended questioning, but I feel like our curriculum does not allow enough time for first graders to share like they need to. We all know how much first graders love to share even if it has nothing to do with the subject matter. I would also like to allow more time so that I can implement authentic assessments that show me overall what my students know. This would be more of a challenge for me since our parish requires 6 paper and pencil grades each 9 weeks. Our current assessments are very traditional in which 3, sometimes 4 tests are given every Friday which is overwhelming for first graders. When test are returned then students are either overjoyed or devastated by the ???letter??? grade. I definitely feel like the constructivist approach would be better for my students when it comes to assessments.

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