Monday, December 27, 2010


The very first chapter of this book really caught my attention. I must say I really had to reflect when the author stated that we do not like to think but rather we prefer to rely on our memory. This information got me thinking (rather than relying on my memory only) about my students and why they may not attempt certain aspects of my class. If the vast majority of my students do not like to think but rather rely on their memory then I as a teacher must have to find ways to trick their minds into going back to their memories and then move them forward into thought. I have always had "hooks" that I use to teach students new information by relating it to something that they already know but now I am looking at my hooks in a whole new light.

My most common hooks is story telling. I use stories that are analogous to what we are learning. I know that the stories work because students will see me years later and can retell the story. The part I am not sure of is if the students move on past the story or if they get stuck on the story and miss the concept that I am trying to teach. I really like the 4 C's that the author uses to help tell stories: causality, conflict, complications, and character. I am reworking my stories to try to fit these catagories and hope that my stories do a better job of making the content stick as well.

The third aspect of this book that caught my attention is the scientific research or lack of research in the area of learning. I had always viewed a learning style and an intelligence as one in the same.

This book was definately an interesting read.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A major concept from this book that stuck out to me was how important it is to make things meaningful to students through connections. In order to remember new ideas and knowledge, a student must connect to the material. This connection must be understood though. The book said, “ To teach well, you should pay careful attention to what an assignment will actually make students think about (not what you hope they will think about), because that is what they will remember”(pg. 54). If trying to help student connect to a unit about geography and the United States, for example, don’t teach them about the Rocky Mountains because it could help connect to Colorado. The kids are going to remember the Rocky Mountains, not the states which was the goal. What we think about is what we remember, so the connections need to be clear and on topic. I have always learned that it is so important to make connections. When reading text or new stories, connections will help students comprehend. But from reading this book, I have realized the connections need to be more meaningful than I thought. Especially when teaching a specific idea or topic, the students connection to be connected directly to that idea.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Why Students Don't Like School" Reflection Post

One concept I appreciated in "Why Students Don't Like School" is that we don't need to do everything at once. There were so many ideas and techniquues in the book, it was rather overwhelming to process all of them. The author is good to point out that setting priorities for areas to change is important to manage and focus our goals. I enjoyed the examples the author uses to help us understand his concepts. I will use many of his suggestions when I am creating lessons such as structuring activities that will lead to student understanding and remembering.