Standard Reflection- O2

December 17, 2012

O2. – Offer appropriate challenge in the content area.

Poster Examples

Student Poster Examples

Offering students appropriate challenges while they’re learning the content is, in itself, challenging. Pushing them to learn more and perform better is one of the goals, but pushing them into areas that they can’t comprehend and to the point of frustration and despair is not one of those goals. In a recent lesson, students in my class were challenged to create professional looking posters using photographs, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator. Not only were they pushed to accomplish such a great task, but they were also challenged to produce these fine posters while working in a group. Both of these provided unique opportunities for learning and also appropriate levels of difficulty that helped them grow in many areas.

The students in my class first worked on making their own posters after having taken many photos in a group. Some students took to designing posters better than others, but most everyone had the tools they needed to create their own poster after group demonstrations and individual assistance. After they had all learned the basics and done a poster of their own, they split into groups and had to design and print a group poster. I think this was a new experience for many of the groups, as large school projects are usually a solo endeavor, but when they leave school for broader horizons, they will find collaboration a big part of the larger picture. Students took away different things from this assignment depending upon the success they had within their groups. Some groups had groups that clashed and some were much more cooperative. We asked them after this experience to write a reflection on their experience with guided questions.  These responses reflected the difficulties they had as individuals, but as well as groups. This fell directly in line with our expectations and did not seem too challenging for the students to gain understanding of the tools, concepts, and working within a group. Each group’s poster was usually greatly improved by collaboration compared to the individual posters. By making them practice it first, but then pooling their knowledge, they surmounted the challenges they had individually, learned more, and created something greater.

Student A Reflection

Student B Reflection

Some ways to improve this assignment would be to maybe give a breakdown of group responsibility to better measure the effort by individuals within the group. As far as I know, each group member worked fairly diligently, though some had to be reminded to stay on task in groups with their friends. This is also a troubling issue in that students work better with like minded peers, but also stray off task due to their close relationship. It may be good to mix students together to prevent this, but they may be less apt to share and improve on each other’s knowledge. The objectives in this assignments met standards, appropriately challenged the students, and helped them learn about the content and also working in a group with room for improvement.

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