The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
Communication is key to a successful learning community where active inquiry is fostered and where collaboration is the norm. Effective communication requires a variety of approaches, including oral communication in pairs, small groups and large groups; appropriate interpersonal skills including nonverbal communication; and the creative and appropriate use of technology. The positive social interactions which teachers nurture and support make possible the creation of a lively, collaborative learning community. Building such a community around inquiry is supported by the use of effective questioning techniques to promote the development of higher order thinking and problem solving skills.
Faculty in the MAT program model effective communication techniques through their contact with students beginning with their initial advising session. Clear communication of program components and expectations is the foundation for regular interaction between and among students and faculty. This type of open, honest communication is necessary to develop and maintain a community of learners. Instructors model effective non-verbal and verbal techniques through their instruction. Additionally, the use of appropriate technologies enhances learning for our students and serves to model cutting edge multimedia strategies for them. Each course within the MAT program contains technology objectives that include student performances and products that integrate these technologies with best practices in teaching and learning.
This was my favorite lesson from my student teaching experience! I introduced Frankenstein and relevant background material to students using the LCD panel to conduct an interactive lesson looking at websites on the Internet dealing with Mary Shelley and her novel. I could have given the information in a lecture, but I think that students appreciated being able to "surf the net" for the same information. I had a list of websites which I had found and knew to be reputable which served as a menu of places to go. But after that, students choose where they wanted to go and what they wanted to read about. It was a great way to introduce the novel. -Despina Marousis
(a) sample manipulatives for dividing class in pairs; (b) handout used for map exercise, photo of student using maps; (c) photograph of use of board as form of communication. Throughout lessons I incorporated several different types of non-verbal communication styles. Because students learn and process in different ways, I used various means of communicating information. (a) The first pieces of evidence I provide are sample manipulatives used to divide students into pairs. Each person within the pair played a different role in the exercise which was determined by the shape of their manipulative which was either a triangle or a square. (b) in this piece of evidence, students used a handout to guide their map exercise. They drew on laminated maps to show their answers. (c) To aid visual learners, I used the board extensively to record comments made by students and to reinforce information I communicated orally. In this case I used different colors to record student input on examples of tolerance, conflict, and conflict resolution. -Debbie Delavan
In this lesson on decimals, I posed a real life problem and asked students to "solve-pair-share-adjust." I used this technique because it allowed students to think about the question, solve the problem independently, place themselves in pairs to share, and "rehearse" their answer within groups which increased their listening and communication skills. Then, the students justified their reasoning and adjusted their answer. This particular technique gave individual accountability and helped students work together to maximize each other's achievement.
In my classroom, technology combines both verbal and non-verbal communication. In order to show understanding of the Maryland Unit, students were asked to create a brochure on a Maryland county. The use of technology enhanced how the students created the brochure. Guidance on the research aspect of the brochure was presented non-verbally through brief written guidelines. The students had various resources from which to pull information. They used the Internet to find information on the counties. The students had previously written to various counties for general information. This information was then also incorporated into the students' brochures. All students had an opportunity to work on the computer, but, because of time constraints, final projects did not have to be completely computer generated. My goal was to have students improve their research skills and learn more about how to use the computer. They were clearly successful. In the future we will allow for more time to create final products on the computers. -Joan Abraham