What are the essential skills and/or learning outcomes you want your students to know and be able to do that relate to cognitive learning?
Personally, I believe that cognitive learning is so important while teaching and aiding the student in his or her learning process. Firstly, I would want my students to understand that many things are effectively learned by watching, touching, reading, or experiencing something. I would make sure to
let my students know that everyone learns differently, and people often think about and interpret things in ways that are really complex. With this being said, I want to give my students valuable information that is relatable and relevant, and the skills to be able to take a classroom lesson or topic and make it meaningful to them in a way that makes it easier to process. Since we are so selective about what we mentally process and lean from the influx of information we receive daily, I want my students to find ways to make meaningful interpretations of classroom topics. As a teacher, I know that I must remember that all students are not going to learn the information in the way that I present to them, so it is my job to explain things in different and creative ways that makes information more interpretable.
I found this really cool website, called Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn that has a helpful (and short!) description of the cognitive approach to learning in children.
How might your knowledge of the memory processes guide your instructional decisions?
Memory, as defined by our text, is the ability to save something that has been previously learned. Since I plan to teach elementary students and I will need to cover so much information and focus on all subject areas, I will really have to come up with come creative and out-of-the-box strategies that will help students remember important information. Like the cognitive process talks about, we are more likely to remember something that sticks out to us or that we can connect to. I think that making personal connections and using real-life examples while teaching is a big key to students memory. If I can tell a funny story or use a catchy rhyme while explaining a topic, my students are much more likely to relate and pay ATTENTION to what I am saying. I am giving them the input, they are registering this information and paying attention, then this information will travel to short-term memory. It is then my job to have student work examples or explain the topic to me through journals, etc. so that they can process the information and store it in long-term memory. If I think back to my elementary years, the things that I remember most are the catchy phrases (such as Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492) and stories my teachers told to teach a topic. I think interaction is so important while teaching, and this also really encourages students to pay attention to the lesson taught. This way, they remember the information better because they were involved in the learning process and can make a connection, rather than just sitting and listening to their teacher speak. I will also really allow my students to practice what they have learned, rather than just moving to the next topic or activity.