Special Education: A life full of
In one of my classes, we were asked to reflect on the importance of gaming, or gamification, in education. What are the benefits of playing games to learn? I'm huge on sports, and for whatever reason, this video popped in my head. Former New York Jets Coach being asked if losing matters---- his infamous response-- "You play... to win.. the game!"
I grew up in a very competitive family. My Father and Grandfather were coaches. My cousins were all within 5 years of my age either way, and we all competed against each other in any sport or activity that we could create. I HATED to love--- I was on to Herm Edwards boat. I needed to win. When I look back on that, being one of the younger of my cousin/brother crew, I lost a lot. It wasn't until I got older, stronger, etc until I started winning more than I lost.... But at that point, in retrospect, the games had already done their job. I had played so many sports, with so many people--- I used teamwork, sportsmanship, verbal and nonverbal communication. I worked with partners, I planned ahead, I learned how to listen to different coaches, and I lost. I dealt with losing. The same thing can be said for games in education. Not all games are going to give you all of the same skills/results, but they can help develop very important Soft Skills and Problem solving skills that you can use in your every day life.
Using Play in my setting is critical in developing soft skills for my students. It is a way for students to:
- Learn to follow Rules
- Verbal Skills
- Nonverbal Skills
- Waiting your turn
- Dealing with the unexpected
- Dealing with loss
- How to win appropriately
- Assisting others
....and these are skills that I believe my students learn from the card game "Uno"-- a relatively simple game to play and learn. Imagine the skills that can be gained with more complex games and situations.
-- No matter the game, it can be a learning experience--- and that is why I think using gaming in the classroom (and out of the classroom) is essential.
Hello all! I hope everyone is enjoying the slow weather change as we see a bit more sunshine and some longer evenings coming! I know the runner in me is! I was on a slow jog the other day with another teacher, and we were discussing planning and prep techniques for lessons, units, activities, etc... I went through the laundry list of techniques that we have discussed in some of my classes (TPACK, ADDIE, LBD,)-- So many acronyms, I know--- and I brought up the fact that learning about all of these, makes me feel a little inadequate about my planning.
I go through a process--- and my process incorporates many different things. My process is not always the same for each lesson, or for each student for that matter. That may be the nature of the beast (In special education), but more and more, that is the expectation for all classes. My question for many of you is this--- What is your process? Do you have a name for it? Is it consistent? Has it evolved since you started teaching? Is it changing even more with this technology infusion? Multiple questions, I know, but I'm intrigued to hear some genuine responses.
In the reflection above, I recalled the changes throughout my first few years of teaching in a co-taught environment. We used a variety of different formative assessments to progress monitor and adjust our curriculum--- I do think as we push forward with more technology, the use of data and immediate feedback will allow us more time to focus on other areas of need for our students.
I have been running races and ultra-marathons since 2008. I am not a fast runner, but I enjoy the opportunity to put myself in a situation that is easy to quit---- and not quit. I have found that life and running have a lot in common. Ups and downs, good days and bad days, etc. Looking at running with an educational lens--- Many runners learn by doing. I know for me, personally, I have learned by experience--- which is how I try to educate my students. I take a Constructivist approach to allow students to learn through experience as much as possible.
On any given day, you may find our class cleaning areas in the school, shopping at Aldi, volunteering at a local food bank, or doing laundry for the school. When you really break down the amount that a student can learn in those environments, it makes for a wonderful way to learn!