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Cognitive Load and Active Learning

A couple of days ago on Twitter, the ever-lasting debate between lecture and active learning reignited due to some talks at an Educational Research Conference held in Dublin. These talks stated direct guidance (which includes lecture) was superior in terms of student learning due its reduction of students’ cognitive load. The main citation used for this argument was an article by Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark published in 2006. So, let’s dive into what this article says.

Giving the Syllabus a Lecture

What value does spending time explaining our syllabus in class provide? How much time should we invest in going over the syllabus with our students? Thoughts on talking about the syllabus during the first class meeting.

Improvisation in the Classroom

I recently attended a workshop at my state conference about improvisation techniques to use in the classroom. As a teacher we are challenged to constantly adapt our pedagogical techniques to meet the needs of our learners, and this workshop provided some new strategies to do just that.

Helping Students Make Connections by Reading and Analyzing "Chemistry's Core Ideas"

In this blog post, I share how I use an article from Dr. Peter Atkins, "Chemistry's Core Ideas." My IB Chemistry students read the article early in our program - and then revisit the article numerous times throughout our two-year course. The Google Slide document my students use is included in the supporting information.  

The Art of the Chemical Demonstration

One of my favorite things to talk about with my colleagues is the use of lecture demonstrations in teaching. There seems to be a push in my district to stop using chemicals whenever possible and get to computer simulations and video in place of wet chemistry. I don’t think they are thrilled with me since I can’t envision ever taking the chemistry out of chemistry.