The conceptual framework of the site centers around the teaching cycle; Plan > Teach/Act > Reflect. The Teaching and Learning Exchange site offers several video case studies of science and math teachers addressing specific teaching strategies within their discipline. Teaching strategies include; classroom managment, literacy building, assessment, and meeting student needs. The site also has sample lesson plans, PDF files on specific teaching strategies such as, hand signals, assessment, how to plan for the year or day.
Through the use of video case studies of National Board Certified teachers this site aims to create a community of practices through the development of subject matter knowledge, pedadogy, and classroom management.
Target Student Population:
Prospective science and math teachers would benefit greatly from the pedagogical examples and the specific information on how these science and math teachers plan their content for the day,
week,semester, and year. Detailed lesson plans are shown that would assist secondary pre-service science and math teachers.
The site could also be used as a resource to education majors (primarily middle level and secondary teachers) on how to incorporate best teaching practices into their teaching of content.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Background in math and science content would be needed to benefit from content information in the site - however, this is not needed if it is used to show how to implement effective teaching strategies.
Type of Material:
Video case studies are interwoven with PDF and Flash files illustrating or expanding the content of the videos. The use of these materials is enhanced through the inclusion of content standards, subject matter prerequisites, and teacher education standards.
The materials at this site could be incorporated into face to face or distance courses for preservice teachers or could be used for independent study and professional development by preservice, beginning, or experienced teachers.
Macromedia Flash must be installed. Pop-up windows must be enabled. A sound card and speakers are required. Materials are accessible to both dial up and high speed connections.
Evaluation and Observation
The content is well organized. Both the science and math examples include a range of topics; biology, chemistry, genrral science, geometry, and algebra; 9 teachers and their classrooms are on video clips. The lesson plans are thorough and connect the state (California)content standards with the lesson.
The teaching strategies consistently include ideas for differentiating instruction and teaching students who use English as their second language (English learner strategies).
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The video clips are especially effective in showing a 'real' classroom teacher using effective teaching strategies in secondary science and math classrooms. Providing PDF files that can be downlaoded on specific strategies such as using hand signals, differentiating instruction, and English learner strategies is very beneficial.
A very effective teaching tool, this site responds to a variety of learning modalities and models excellent teaching through its content and design. Captioning is easily available for the videos and the inclusion of reflections, teaching tips, and standards allow this resource to be used in a multiplicity of settings.
The information is presented in an organized and clear manner; printed information is short, to the point, and contains the key points.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is easy to navigate around in - a navigation bar is available on a pull down menu in order to go directly to a specific area or one may go sequentially by using arrows. You can always return 'Home' and select another teacher and classroom to enter.
You do have to register intially - but his is a painless process that goes rather quickly.
Because of the multiple paths of use and exploration of this site,
individuals can approach the same topic through multiple paths.
The ability to use multiple paths to access the content of this site presents some problems in navigation-the back button on my browser did not always take me to the location I anticipatd.
To use this sight individuals must register and log in-this may increase the time required to use this site within a classroom context. The requirement that pop ups be enabled will create a problem where school machines are locked down to prevent popups