Blog Question Options From Class on Jan 19

For this week, we invite you to apply the concept of “prior learning.”

Using what you know of this concept, describe how would you would teach students the following (choose one):

  1. how to spell the word “inoculate” [keep in mind almost everyone thinks it’s “innoculate”]
  2. What is “negative reinforcement”?
  3.  The following grammar rule: that “she went skiing and then to the orthopedist” does not have a comma before “and” but “she went skiing, and then she went to the orthopedist” does. [Lots of people would incorrectly put it in the first example]

OR

How would what you’ve learned about ‘prior learning” change how you would do the microteaching you did on the first day of class?

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2 Responses to Blog Question Options From Class on Jan 19

  1. lei says:

    With the advanced understanding of prior learning, I would pay more attention to the methods and possibilities of activating the student’s prior knowledge in my first microteaching.

  2. Tim McNeil says:

    Using what you know of this concept, describe how would you would teach students the following grammar rule: that “she went skiing and then to the orthopedist” does not have a comma before “and” but “she went skiing, and then she went to the orthopedist” does. [lots of people would incorrectly put it in the first example]

    My answer assumes that as a class the students in the room know at least 5-6 ways to use commas, and are familiar with the parts of speech.

    I’d begin by asking the students to write down as many ways as they can think of to use commas. Then, I’d get them to turn to a partner and compare their lists. Then, I’d get the partners to join with another set of partners (making groups of 4) and ask them to come up with examples of 2-3 different types of comma use and write them on the board.

    For the sake of argument, let’s imagine the results are something like this:

    Jill, Susan, and Bobby went to see the new Star Wars movie.
    My address is 123 45 Street, Red Deer, Alberta.
    I read the assigned material for class, but when I got there I had forgotten everything.
    My dog is smelly, likes to eat cheese, and frolics with squirrels.
    Dr. Octopus, also known as Otto Octavius, is a compelling villain.

    At this point, the class’s prior knowledge should largely be activated. Now, it’s time to begin approaching the skill I want to emphasize: finding the difference between “she went skiing and then to the orthopedist” and “she went skiing, and then she went to the orthopedist.”

    Hopefully, the students will notice that the first sample has one pronoun while the second has two. From there, finding the verbs that are connected to each pronoun should allow us, as a group, to determine that there are two complete thoughts in the second example, while there is one complete though and one though-which-depends-on-something-else-to-make-sense.

    (This would be a good time to introduce/reinforce using the terms independent clause and subordinate clause.)

    I think a dance metaphor might be useful here, and so suggest that the subject and verb are kind of like people at a dance. If they are slow dancing, then each subject needs a verb to dance with, as well as a little space; however, if more lively music is playing, then one subject can dance with a few verbs.

    Finally, we can arrive at the rule allowing a comma to join two independent clauses with a coordinating conjunction.

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