Thoughts from last Friday: Reading strategies

Dr. McGuire’s talk was very informative and inspirational. The single biggest take-away for me was how to help our students with their reading. Material I teach in both my classes (anatomy and pharmacology) is not the easiest reading, and its is not enough to read superficially to sort of ‘get the idea’. It requires deep concentration, analyzing of the material, and, unfortunately, memorization of new terminology, each time. A simple suggestion she shared, to read each paragraph and try to put what is written in your own words, seems to offer the solution to prevent the mind from wandering away from the subject, to keep the attention, and to also decipher complex scientific texts. I actually tried this method myself and it worked for me. I will talk to my students about this type of slow, attentive reading and its benefits, and I hope it will be a very helpful strategy for them. This can be especially beneficial to our ESL students, who often do exactly that – read and translate the material, paragraph by paragraph – but instead of translating it in their own native language (which is absolutely not helpful) – they should ‘translate’ the text in a simpler, more manageable English.

Many of us also reflected on her suggestion to show the students Bloom’s Taxonomy and discuss with the students what level of learning is expected, and how our tests focus on the different types of learning. I think this is very helpful and I will do it with my new groups in the upcoming courses.

Seeing Brooklyn as a Living Lab – Purple Team

On Friday February 1, four new living lab fellows, Susan Phillip, Jason Montgomery, Benjamin Shepard and myself, Anna Matthews, took a nice walk.  In an hour, walked through walked through several hundred years of Brooklyn history, within footsteps of the college.   Our charge was to take part in a scavenger hunt, in which we were to find twenty-five items on one hour.  Some of the sites of were easy – a new building.  Others, including a stop on the underground railroad took a little searching.  But in the end, we found all of them and more.  Looking at Brooklyn as a living laboratory of ideas, history, technology, people, animals, plants, places, buildings, monuments, courts, restaurants, vehicles, and works of art, we saw parts of the city and our history for the very first time.

So,here we go!

An institution of higher learning – because what is ‘higher’ is different for everybody: for one it may be a PhD, and for another it is to learn to write their name… (A day center for adults with developmental disabilities)

Old and new, together… And also a church, just happened to be nearby

A very living plant, despite the cold and never-stopping pedestrian traffic..

A method of transportation:

And then another one:

And yet another… 🙂

An animal..


Health care facility – our own! Please come – we are open 6 days a week now, and I am in clinic Tuesdays, Saturdays 🙂  (this, of course, is also a local advertising campaign…)

These were my favorite pictures – thank you Jason for sharing them with me. Please edit the post and add your favorite too!