1. How did you do on the Unit 1 Quiz? Why?
I did well on the quiz. Most of the questions were application questions, and if I can think through them and make an application I usually do well. I’m also a pretty good test taker generally. After I took the quiz the first time, I wrote down the answers I got wrong (which were recall questions) and then I looked up the correct answer and got them right the second time.
2. Which note-taking strategies worked well for you? Which didn’t? Why?
The Cornell notes worked really well for me because I was able to summarize what I had learned. The visual notes worked well for me because it forced me to think about the concepts in a new and different way. Visual notes were mentally taxing, but I was more engaged and remembered more. The study guide didn’t work as well for me, I think because I didn’t fill it out as I was going along; instead, I did it at the end and it felt redundant. I expected outline notes to work well for me because they’re so similar to how I usually take notes, but I found I remembered the least from this method. I think these were less effective because there was less higher-order thinking and summarizing.
3. Which study methods (textbook, videos, websites, interactive presentations, etc.) worked well for you? Which didn’t? Why?
Videos and interactive presentations work great for me. I like being able to both hear and see the concepts explained. With interactive presentations, I feel like I am the learner and the course is teaching me, rather than me trying to fumble around and teach myself. I also like the diagrams because they help me visualize the concepts. Reading websites is less effective for me because I have a tendency to skim the text when it’s on the screen and so I miss important stuff.
4. What do you need to do differently to (a) master the concepts that you missed from Unit 1 and (b) do better in Unit 2?
To master the concepts I missed in unit 1, I think I need to make some applications, visualizations, and summaries. When I did this, I found I remembered the concepts better. Going into unit 2, I need to make sure my notes have a place for summarizing and that I draw some diagrams. I don’t think I need to draw everything, that was SO HARD, but a mixture of words and text could be really helpful.
5. How can I help you to learn the course content better? Are there things in Unit 1 that could be improved? What should I do differently in Unit 2?
I was confused in the first lesson on the parts and function of the brain because some of the terms were defined in more than one way on the various websites, and some terms were included on the study guide that weren’t in the lesson content.
6. What have been the major takeaways from your field experience regarding the content in this unit (brain function and development, assessment, metacognition and self-regulation, intelligence, and motivation)?
Everything we’ve talked about in class, I’ve seen in my field experience. This content is hugely applicable to the practice of teaching. When the unit started, I had no idea how metacognition and motivation functioned in a classroom, or how I could motivate students. From my field experience, I’ve seen that I never have to use the words “metacognition” or “motivation” to implement the practices and concepts with my students. Brain development is also so interesting, because I can see that the high school students are on the verge of their brains being developed—at one moment, they have brilliant insights into literature; at the next moment, they’re snickering over something totally juvenile. It’s evident that their brains are still developing, but that in many ways they are becoming more adult-like.