March 24th Questions/Answers:

1. What is quality teaching?

--Making learning relevant to students--so they know WHY they are learning it and how it is adaptable to their life
--Connections to personal and professional growth
--Engaging for all students in a variety of ways
--Assessing in a variety of ways
--Responsive to what is going on in society (ie., health care reform, topics that are on mind)
- With the variety of learners and various maturity levels, we need to engage all students no matter what their strengths or weaknesses are. We need to help them to think for themselves and to make good choices in this changing society/workplace. As an educator, we need to keep abreast of the changes in the workplace and keep ourselves updated with the latest information on the content being taught.

2. What do you do well in your classroom?
--provide a variety of experiences for a variety of learning styles
--hands-on learning (field trips, experience it, speakers, knocking down the walls of the classroom)
--incorporate newest technology in the classroom (to meet the ways students are "wired")

- Field trips allow students to see career opportunities. Many times we are limited w/funds but even a fundraiser or setting aside Carl Perkins Money to help off-set the cost enables students to explore the career opportunities without a fee. Reflective papers after a career exploration allows us to see what they see and follow-up information, if needed.

3. What would you like to learn more about?
--examples of teacher's best teaching
--competency-based assessments related to industry-standards (Perkins requirements)
--new innovative ways to incorporate new technology into the classroom
- How to keep from being stressed with all the changes with budget, lack of funds for the classroom/building, increased numbers in the classroom, limited time to prepare if we all are being stretched with more on our plate, etc.
-Resources that help us prepare for the limited budgets and increased classroom size and how to deal with the stress that goes with these changes.

Literacy Reflections:
- Many students refuse to read a manual, read directions or read through a recipe, before going into lab or start a task and go straight to the questions at the end of the workbook or worksheet. To be competitive in the workplace, we need to help them to understand what the directions may mean, how to question the manual and what the recipe is asking before they attempt it. Many students want instant results and are not willing to read and comprehend what they have read. Some of our questioning, wait time and discussion strategies will help with this and get them to reflect on what they have read before they start a task or assignment.

Student-Driven Questioning Reflections:
- CRISS strategies come into play here as we get the students to take ownership of their own learning. Some may need more encouragement then others but the students need to be able to question, participate in discussion and we need to step back and allow for the wait time, etc.

Class Discussions Reflections:
Asking questions in class is one thing but engaging students in the discussion is quite another thing.....When asking questions, consider how many students are engaged in thinking, and what are they thinking? What can we do to ensure that most students are engaged in thinking after the question is posed? What can we do to find out more about student's thinking? As a "veteran" of CRISS, the idea of Think-Pair-Share Strategy could be used to determine a student's level of engagement. Another solution, as suggested in a related reading, is to give each student a whiteboard along with markers. Pose the question and have students write down their answer. this gives the partner an opportunity to quickly scan the response and also give the instructor the chance to find out what the students are thinking. t.s.
- A reminder of the 3+ second Wait Time, HRASE technique and other strategies for the ESL and special needs students ensures all learners the opportunity to focus and participate in the discussion. These may help when the learners in a class vary from age to maturity level. The CRISS strategies work well to engage the learners in the various content areas.