October 17, 2013
Expert Corner: Whole Group Instruction- Part I
Laura Chervenak has been with ExploreLearning since 2010 as the VP of Professional Development. She has taught high school science, and is the founder and former director of GOAL Digital Academy. Laura is National Board Certified in Science/Adolescence and Young Adulthood, with a B.A. in Zoology and an M.S. in Anthropology.
Research has shown that effective use of simulations in whole class instruction significantly improves student understanding in science (Smetana, 2008). In a series of articles this school year, I will be highlighting whole group instruction with Gizmos, including best-practice strategies for maximizing student engagement and achievement.
We will begin with an exploration of lesson planning with Gizmos, including how to pull the best whole class instructional sequence from the Gizmo lesson materials to meet your needs. We will return in January, after the winter break, to focus on making your Gizmo lessons more student-centric, even when you have a single computer in your classroom. In February, we will discuss strategies for engaging all students in the classroom in your whole class lessons. In March, we will look at questioning techniques that foster inquiry, and we will look at the role of seatwork and homework in April. Finally, in May, we will wrap up the series with a discussion of what comes next — instruction beyond the whole group.
I’m looking forward to exploring all of the ways that a teacher can use Gizmos in a classroom with just one or two computers and a projector. I’d love to hear your ideas and strategies as well! If you have strategies related to whole group instruction with Gizmos to share, please comment below.