Iris Xiong – Learning, Motivation & Theory:

Hi Iris, your story about how your mother nurtured your interest in mathematics in your early childhood was fascinating and very touching at the time. She was very insightful in being able to relate basic mathematical concepts to you at an early age in such a tangible way. You mention in your post that your mother employed the concept of Behaviourism. While this may be true, it seems to me that she went even further than that. I say this because once you learned about multiplication, she guided you towards learning about division and decimals. It can be argued that in this instance, she employed Cognitivism, because she helped you to uncover new concepts on your own, and use the right strategies to make connections to prior understandings. All in all, this was a very interesting post and I enjoyed reading it. 

Chloe Schmidt – Learning Design II:

Hi Chloe, this was an interesting post on direct instruction. I liked the clip in your post that talked about how direct instruction and project-based learning do not necessarily need to be the antithesis of one another, and how it’s possible to pair both approaches in a strategic way to provide students with the best possible learning conditions. I can think of a scenario that demonstrates how this can be achieved. You could have a classroom where students first watch videos to gain the prerequisite knowledge for a given topic. Subsequently, the instructor could have a more collaborative session with the students where the whole class is engaged to participate in a brainstorming session or something similar, after which the class would work together to practice under the guidance of the instructor. This last part would comprise a majority of class time, unlike the traditional direct instruction model where at least half of the class is the instructor passively lecturing the students. 

Shrey Patel – Inclusive Design:

Hi Shrey, your story about the challenges that your cousin faced in his education due to being visually impaired was truly touching. The line that you quoted from Debra Run was very striking, where she states that the only disability is when people fail to see human potential. I definitely believe this is the case, as I have seen and heard of many such instances where people with seemingly debilitating disabilities have overcome the odds to achieve successes that would be spectacular by any measure, disabled or not. When you describe the methods that you plan to use in order to accommodate students with hearing loss, you mention speech-to-text software. While this is definitely a great step in the right direction, I believe a student in grade 2 could be helped even better if rather than transcribing the material being taught to everyone else, there was learning material that was designed with students like him in mind. For example, rather than having to read about what was said, it would be great if he had learning exercises that employed visual cues. But all in all, great post!

Utkarsh – Interaction:

Hi Utkarsh, this was an interesting post to read. The video that you reference in this post is definitely a great resource for your target audience of grade 2 students. I really liked your Lego Set Tower activity that students are meant to do after watching the video. Such a group activity is certainly a great way to reinforce the concept of subtraction by applying it in a stimulating, practical and fun way in a collaborative group environment. Your plan to provide formative assessment to students is also a good approach, as it would enable them to receive feedback on their progress and use it to improve upon their understanding for subsequent evaluations. For your plans regarding inclusive design, you describe how the video can be adapted for students with hearing loss. But how would you be able to accommodate students with other challenges such as being an English language learner or colour blindness? Overall, I enjoyed reading your post.