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Documentation of Learning

by Isabella Atkinson


Thought Bubble
Documentation of Learning
By: Isabella Atkinson
Table of Contents
1. Documentation of Learning #1 - September 16, 2022 - Social Constructivist Model of Learning
2. Documentation of Learning #2 - September 23, 2022 - Cooperative Learning
3. Documentation of Learning #3 - September 30, 2022 - Phonemic Awareness
4. Documentation of Learning #4 - October 7, 2022 - Explicit and Implicit Learning
5. Documentation of Learning #5 - October 14, 2022 - Word Walls
6. Documentation of Learning #6 - October 21, 2022 - Purpose of Assessment
7. Documentation of Learning #7 - November 4, 2022 - Spelling (The Alphabet Layer)
8. Documentation of Learning #8 - January 6, 2023 - Placement & Language

Documentation of Learning #1 - September 16 2022
Social Constructivist Model of Learning

I chose pictures of young children learning in social settings to relate to the chapter one reading. The reason these pictures relate to the reading is because children learn differently in social settings where they can collaborate together than they do independently. This social constructivist model of learning is very important for children to learn many different skills that they can use in school and out.

Vygotsky developed the idea of the social constructivist model of learning. He suggests that learning takes place through social interactions. Collaborative work helps people to have shared meanings and negotiate those meanings with one another. Children make their own meaning of the world but are also influenced by their social interactions with others. In chapter one, it talks about how literacy is all about communication and expressing/receiving different dimensions of literacy (which is culturally and socially situated).

The idea that children are influenced by social interactions is very important in their growth and development of morals, values and opinions. Without social influences to help you develop your opinions, you only learn through family (which is also important but learning through others with different perspectives and experiences in life is beneficial to personal growth). Without social interaction as one of my main learning styles, I would not have developed certain opinions on things and would have just continued to follow in my parents footsteps. A great example of growth and learning from social interactions is how I became a vegetarian. I come from an Italian family, meat is a huge part of our diet. Seven years ago, I made the decision to stop eating meat and fish all together and to this day, I have never gone back on my decision. Had I not developed my own opinion on vegetarianism through friends, social media, and school, I could have never become vegetarian because everyone in my family eats meat and they would have told me their opinion, which would have influenced my decision. Although social interactions as a main way of learning can cause misconceptions and other problems (like diet culture - learning about diet from someone who is not a dietician or doctor can be problematic), it is important to learn what you do and do not believe in or educate yourself on the topic after hearing about it through someone else. The social constructivist model of learning is important for the growth and development of all children. Everyone brings a unique perspective of different opinions and it is important to expose your children to different mindsets.

Documentation of Learning #2 - September 23 2022
Cooperative Learning
I chose this picture for my article because it demonstrates children working together on an assignment and collaborating well with one another. This picture reminded me of a part of the textbook that talked about cooperative learning. Working together is essential for the success of your children in education. Collaboration is not only used in school settings, but also in work and friend/family gatherings. It is important for children to learn from a young age how to work well with others. 
Cooperative learning talks about how children are graded as a group rather than individually. Cooperative learning is especially great for literacy and language pedagogy because there are many different group activities the teacher can assign to the students. An example of a cooperative activity the class can participate in is; reading or writing a play and acting it out to the class as a group. Everyone can take a chapter from the book they have and come up with a script for that chapter. I remember when I was in elementary school, I loved doing activities like these. In high school we did a lot of plays for English class based on Shakespeare books, but in elementary school, we did more plays based on small books or our favourite movies/shows.
In grade 7, for anti-bullying week, we needed to do some sort of artistic piece. I chose to do a video, my partner and I asked all my neighbours and my brothers to help out with the skit. My neighbour was the bully and my brother was the victim. We filmed and edited this art piece for class. Not only did we learn about anti-bullying initiatives, we also had a lot of fun reading, writing a skit, presenting and editing this video. Making literacy and language fun for students is important because if you make it fun, they will want to keep learning and being creative. Gearing it towards the arts is something I think I will always do since I thoroughly enjoy the arts. It gets students out of their comfort zone and trying new things! Not only that but it gets them working well with others which will benefit them for the rest of their life.  Cooperative learning is something I will definitely be implementing in my classroom in the future. 

Documentation of Learning #3 - September 30, 2022

I included this picture as my article because it explains the different branches of phonological awareness which is helpful when explaining what it means and thinking of different ways to teach it to children. Phonemic awareness is extremely important, especially for kindergarten and grade 1, as they are still developing their oral and written language skills. Making it fun for children is what can be the difference between remembering what they learned and forgetting everything.

In class we talked about phonemic awareness. Phonemes are units of sound. Some activities you can do with students to strengthen their phonemic awareness include; identifying and isolating sounds in words, categorizing sounds, substituting sounds, blending sounds, segmenting sounds, playing word games, reading rhymes, listening to songs (ie. down by the bay is a good one), reading books, etc. Some ways I would incorporate blending sounds into learning would be through syllables and play. We could play a game with syllables; every student needs to count/clap how many syllables are in their name. This way it is turned into a game but it is also teaching students how to count syllables. Isolating phonemes in a word is important while reading books to young children because it helps them identify certain words to sounds. For example, if you’re reading a book about a cat, you would want to identify that cat has a k sound in it. By learning through reading, you could also ask students what rhymes with cat, or what the word cat would be without the c in it (it would just be at), etc. There are so many different ways to make phonemic awareness fun for students to learn. We talked about how phonemic awareness is always oral, thus we need to address things before we introduce letters. 

Documentation of Learning #4 - October 7 2022
Explicit and Implicit Learning

Explicit instruction is when educators explicitly teach skills and knowledge and get the students to use them in new situations. An example of explicit instruction from the textbook is when students move from shared reading to independent reading. It is up to the instructor to create an environment where students can inductively learn about the rules or big ideas about reading. An important thing that educators need to do is to never assume students know something unless educators created the right environment for them to learn it. Not every student learns the same way. One may understand what is being taught but another may need a different way of learning. 
I chose to talk about this because I think it is important to implement this into the classroom in the future. Making sure to give the students explicit instruction on subjects and create an environment to help the students learn and grow is a must. I would make sure to create an interactive environment where students have many different learning styles and opportunities to learn at different stations across the classroom. I really like how the textbook talked about how you can never assume a student knows what you are teaching. Asking questions and doing check-ins are important to gage where the students stand and what they are actually absorbing.