Good topic!! In the name of teaching to all the learning modalities; I do
both demos and step-by-step instructions. Granted, I'm teaching computer
graphics and the technical steps are pretty easy to document.
I too find that the kids DON"T want to read the material; it's just so much
easier for them to demand that I show each and everyone of them,
one-at-a-time, how to do each step! (note heavy sarcasm here!)
However, I've put the instructions into steps and numbers and demanded that
if they can't do something, they MUST tell me what step and number they are
on. This has helped. Also, as I demo something, I will say, "OK, we are
now on step 7C." Sometimes I will take a complex set of instructions and
break them up into one day blocks and just do that much, making sure that
everyone is up to that point before proceeding on the next day.
The best reason to do the step-by-step instructions for me is that I am
compiling a book of our assignments. There is a book of instructions
sitting next to each computer in my room. When a kid is stuck, I will say
"Get out the computer book and read the instructions first, then I will help
I also will put the rubric for each assignment in the books and then make it
a short lesson, by having everyone pull out the books and check their work
so far for fulfilling the requirements for a good grade. These books are
just cheap heavy-weight vinyl 1" ring binders in ugly colors so that no one
will steal them. The lessons are in plastic sheet protectors. This allows
me to up-date assignments at will. I put an up-date notation at the top of
all my instructions so that I can keep the versions straight.
Also, for those kids who are absent and need the instructions, having them
written up and posted on our computer science website is REALLY helpful. I
have also e-mailed the instructions home to kids and parents so that
something can be started or completed at home.
Yes, writing the instructions is tedious for me; but then I am a visual
learner and hands-on demos is how I learn. But, for people who need written
instructions, I'm willing to do the work to create them.
Alix E. Peshette
Emerson Junior High School
From: Occasm@aol.com [mailto:Occasm@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2003 4:52 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: instruction sheets or postings/middle school
Okay here's another topic I have to ask about.
How many m.s/j.h. teachers use instruction sheets or post steps in the
classroom. I did it once (posted steps) during this my first year and then
stopped until my very last lesson where I gave out a step by step sheet at
the start. Of course they never referred to it and asked me repeatedly when
they should have been referrring to the sheet.
The rest of the year I just demoed the next step when most of the
class was ready. Let the input roll, I need help with this
p.j. gelians jhs ---