After reading, I have realized that individual teaching is just as important as group teaching. This type of technique helps students learn how to evaluate and analyze information presented to them as well as promoting independent working strategies. Individual teaching is also a great way to add variability to your lessons because as we know, group work is fun most of the time but you can only do so much with group work until you just need to go back to individual work. That way students are able to show what they personally know and don't have to rely on others to help them to convey it. There are 5 categories of individual teaching techniques that you as the teacher can implement to an entire class or to a select student(s). These 5 categories are: Supervised Study, Independent Study, Experiments, Notebooks, and Sheets (Informational, Assignment, or Skill). Below I am going to reflect on each type a litter deeper and talk about how I would implement each type in my classroom.
Supervised Study: This is a way for students to learn the basic steps in how to use reference materials. They are using resources around them to find the information instead of the teacher "spoon feeding" the students all the information needed to complete the assignment. This is a great way to give both the teacher and the students a break from lecturing. I find it much more fun to find information on my own then to have someone tell me what I need to be learning. If I am able to explore the subject and the content on my own, I will be able to spark an interest much faster then if I am going to be lectured on the information. This would be a great way for students to research types of milking facilities, which fertilizers should be applied to corn, or what is the best breed of cattle to milk for the most butterfat content in milk?
Experiment: Experiments are always a great way for students to learn weather in groups or individually. With experiments there is a high degree of real involvement and hence interest. Students who are actually involved in their learning learn more and better. I think that there are endless opportunities for experiments in an ag program. You could see how animals react to different supplements in feed, you could apply different amounts of fertilizer to plants in the greenhouse and record the growth rates, you could even do experiments in the leadership classes about how self confidence and a great first impression make a difference.
Independent Study: Independent Study is simply where the research and work is being done by an individual student on their own. Both supervised studies and experiments can be turned into an independent study very easily. It is also easy to look to a student who has completed all other work for the class session or lesson and assign them an independent study. This is time for the student to pull from their own interests and research further into that interest using intrinsic motivators; they want to learn about it because they like it. This truly could be anything since it is student driven.
Notebooks: Notebooks can be a great teaching tool but also a headache. If students use the notebooks effectively and efficiently then they should work great. Students are able to keep them organized, write down important notes from the lesson, or any questions they may have that can be addressed later if need be. A well kept notebook could also be utilized by students later in the class like during a test if the teacher provides a 2 minute window of time to use the notes on the test. When students don't write anything down, don't keep them organized or if the teacher is not presenting information in a way that students are able to easily capture notes then the notebook is pointless. We use notebook now as college students in our AEE 412 class and I find them extremely helpful. It gives me enough space to write out as many notes as I need or I have space to draw pictures/symbols to help me remember. I also like that each page is dated so that I am able to go back and reference what we discussed on a specific date.
Sheets: There are 3 different kinds of sheets that can be used in a classroom; informational, assignment and skills. I think all of these are extremely important and helpful during instruction. Informational sheets are great when you would like for students to read over the sheet provided and then answer a few questions about what they read or this could be a sheet that has a picture of a pig and all the names of the body parts. Anything that is providing information to students that can later be used. Assignment sheets could be used as homework or could be a sheet of questions that need to be answered as students watch a video. Finally skill sheets are huge in activities that are hands on. These would be utilized in a shop setting where students need to be able to complete the skills on the sheet by a certain time period. I can see myself using all three types very much in the future.
In the end you as a teacher can use all of these techniques or just stick to one that you really like. The important thing is that your students are able to gain skills and confidence in working independently and when they are finally able to apply those skills and confidence; you feel on top of the world!