EDU 6526 Session 7
Describe a memorization technique that you have used or will use with your students.
Mrs. Wiley, my 2nd grade teacher, was a brilliant woman. She used the mnemonic technique of song every day and often multiple times throughout the day. One example of this is when we were learning our 3 and 4 times tables. She had a song that we would sing for each of these. We would sing it as we moved into the class in the morning. We would sing it as we moved from activity to activity and we would always sing it when we were focusing on a math lesson. To this day I still remember this song. I use it often and have even taught it to my daughters who I hear singing it as they complete their homework. In John Medinas book Brain Rules he examines the importance of repetition to remember. This example of song provides the support that repetition when linked with an additional association provides for better memory retention. It was fun, it was easy (once the concept was attained), it didn’t single any one person out and it supported those who may have struggled with this concept if left on their own. It gave us 2nd graders a tool to use to remember and it worked! In chapter 9 of our textbook this week we explored mnemonics to assist in memorization. By linking an additional sense to memorization activities, whether it is, hearing seeing, touching, smelling or tasting, we as teachers “…provide a richer mental context, and the linking process increases the cognitive activity. The combination of the activity and associations provides better “anchors” within our information processing.” (p. 196). Mrs. Wiley proved this idea beautifully by anchoring math facts to a song. In this simple tune the ease of recalling math facts has been forever ingrained in my mind.
How does textbook organization help and/or hinder the concept of development?
Like all the strategies textbook organization is just one of the many tools that we should have in our teacher toolbox. Textbook organization can be used to teach concept very successfully however, if used for every lesson the student (and the teacher) might become bored and easily distracted. We can explore textbook organization through the strategy of advanced organizers. Here the teacher lets the student “in” on the concepts they will be learning and what the end goals are for learning those concepts. This seems like such a simple concept yet it is often overlooked in teaching practices. David Ausubel is quoted as saying, “So why not provide the scaffold (of ideas) at the beginning (of the course)? Let the student in on the secret of the structure, including and understanding of how it continually emerges through further inquiry, so that the mind can be active as the course progresses.” (p. 247). If used correctly textbook organization can be helpful in teaching new information while recalling, reflecting, and building upon already established student knowledge. If approached through 3 stages; presentation of concepts and goals to be acquired, new information to compare and/or build upon old knowledge, and active reflection about the new and the old knowledge, textbook organization through advance organizers offers a very organized way to teach a lesson.
How might reflection play a role in the information processing family of models?
Reflection is key to information processing for the student, “…the learner must actively reflect upon the new material, think through these linkages, reconcile differences or discrepancies, and note similarities with existing information. “ (p. 252). Reflection helps the teacher apply progressive differentiation and integrative reconciliation. Progressive differentiation is presenting the most simple ideas or goals of the lesson. Integrative reconciliation is relating these new ideas by reflecting upon older knowledge already attained. By using both the teacher and student are able to build a strong foundation and scaffold ideas to support new information.