Distributed Cognition Part 1

My mentor teacher was able to beautifully present an introduction of a new topic of “theme” to 4th grade students by using YouTube videos. I thought this was an amazing use of technology and very relatable to students because most of them have been using YouTube since before their first birthdays. This is a great way to grasp Martin’s concept of connection. It is important to connect lessons to your students’ everyday tasks and life lessons to prove why it will be important later on in life. Things we learn in the primary years set us up for today’s everyday success even though students have a hard time learning at the time they are learning it, why it may be useful. The lesson started with the videos, she didn’t even introduce the lesson until after the first video, Tom and Jerry. I love that she used this example first because Tom and Jerry doesn’t even have sound so it was up to students to really focus in on the video and ask themselves “why are we watching this?” Upon the videos ending, my mentor teacher asked her 4th graders, what does the director of this video want us to know? I loved that she asked this particular question because later on in the week she provided an exit slip for students to fill out a definition for theme. The answer she was looking for was “universal theme is a lesson that an author hides in a story to teach the reader a lesson. It is not a one word subject but a sentence or phrase about a subject A theme can be identified by looking at how a character changed during the story and what they learned” obviously after learning much more about theme from the rest of the week’s lesson, and using the guided words: universal theme, subject, author, hidden message and lesson. I love that she introduced the definition through her own words though before expecting the students to come up with it. After the students gave answers for why they though they watched the video she then said “this is what we call theme”. After this initial introduction we then watched two additional videos to support our definition of theme and add on more to our class answer. After the initial video’s introduction, and after collaborating as a class to come up with a definition for theme, we then created a K,W,L chart to align the next few lessons in a way that we are gearing all assignments towards what our students would like to learn more about theme. By using Martin’s concept of collaboration students are able to pull on the strengths of their peers in order to come up brilliant ideas and get all of their questions answered.

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