I appreciate the opportunity to have reviewed your interactive resource/unit plan on descriptive writing; I find seeing the work of other future educators is so beneficial to my learning as I takeaway many ideas that I wouldn’t have come up on my own!
Strengths of your Interactive Resource.
First, the thoroughness of your resources is impressive – I can see that you all truly took the time needed to research each section that you were responsible for and made an effort to include all relevant details. Specifically, I think its great that you have added a variety of learning design models, such as cooperative, experiential, direct instruction, and inquiry-based learning. As you have clearly stated, employing the principles from more than one would help to create the best overall learning experience for your students because they all have unique advantages; this shows that you were thinking about how to be inclusive of everyone in the classroom. Additionally, I love the concept of your activity three, which touches on having students slow down their writing by describing a small moment, rather than making a list of choppy of events. I’ve been told by other professors in the faculty of education that is an area of struggle for most students, so making a lesson to target it would for sure be helpful. Lastly, I wanted to commend you for your use of formative assessment throughout your unit plan – this can be challenging to do, but it seems that you have integrated many chances for students to receive support. In particular, receiving peer feedback and conferencing with the teacher would allow a student to identify areas that they could improve upon in their writing, and would prepare them appropriately for success later on in a summative assessment.
Potential Ways to Improve your Interactive Resource.
While reviewing you resource one thing I noticed was that on page four, under Learning Design, you have described cooperative learning as being “structured so that all of the students put in effort in order to allow the whole group to reach the learning outcomes… [which] is done by making sure the five characteristics of a learning group are present…[;] positive interdependence, individual and group accountability, promotive interaction, interpersonal skills, and group processing.” I’m wondering if a citation should be included here, and also have some questions as to what, for example, positive interdependence (and the other skills) mean/look like in the classroom. As well, I have to say that reading about you monster activity in lesson one made me smile! I can definitely envision students getting creative here. I would even suggest keeping this “monster” theme consistent throughout your entire resource for an added element of fun and student engagement – I noticed that you return back to it in lesson three, but that lesson two is a bit different. Instead of taking students outside to describe their surroundings with their senses, could you tie in a hands-on component where they “build” their own monster habitat out of leafs, rocks, and sticks, which they could then describe with their senses? Finally, for the purposes of convince when teaching, the layout of your interactive resource might read better if the assessment, rather than being in one large section at the end, followed each individual lesson.
Again, thank you for being open to sharing your interactive resource with me, I really enjoyed it!