My goal for this page is to provide parents with more information about
how my class is designed to best benefit their child's educational journey.
STUDENTS LEARN IN DIFFERENT WAYS
A teacher must incorporate activities and methods that reach all learners throughout the lesson (note taking, video, discussion, stations, etc.). Every part of every lesson may not be a child's "favorite" style, but it may be their neighbor's preferred method of learning the content. A fabulous set of lessons will address each specific style throughout to promote a maximum learning opportunity for each kiddo.
STUDENTS COME TO MY CLASS AT VARIOUS LEVELS
A teacher must utilize different approaches of presenting and practicing the content to differentiate for each learner. The choice of instruction style depends on the goal of the activity. Is the goal to introduce new topics? If so, you may find me interacting with new material on the board, going around the room observing working groups completing various levels of sorts/games, or holding a guided, purposeful class conversation to work through misconceptions or strengthen ideas. This is known as Whole Group/Direct Instruction (1st picture). Or is the goal to allow exploration to demonstrate mastery of the learned concept? If so, then you may see me meeting with a small group for remediation while other students travel around the room at their own pace completing various levels of work, or I may be moving around posing questions to each working group and pushing their thinking. This is known as Learning Stations/Small Group (2nd picture). The key point to either is interaction with the children.
STUDENTS MUST SHOW THEIR THINKING
A student must be given ample opportunities to share their thoughts and demostrate mastery of the content being taught. In a classroom this is achieved through learning activities/games, conversations, practice sheets, projects, and assessments. In my class I choose to also have the students keep a record of their learning through the use of an interactive journal. An interactive journal is a tool that accomodates several learning styles at once while providing a clear picture of what concepts the student fully understands and highlights any misconceptions. We build this journal all year long and reflect back often to our previous learning to strengthen our knowledge. In the journal, we write notes, draw pictures, complete written reflections, create foldables, glue in sorts, make charts, provide authentic examples of content, work on vocabulary and much, much more.
WHY DOES EDUCATION LOOK SO DIFFERENT ?
From time to time, I am addressed with concerns from parents about what and how we teach the kiddos. I've heard some of those "Back in my day..." comments such as:
"This isn't how I was taught in school."
"Why are you teaching my child this way to do things?"
"I didn't do it this way and I'm a successful person."
Here is an short article that provides a great explanation as to why classrooms, lessons, and techniques are different compared to how we (the adults) we taught. It focuses on math instruction specifically, but can be applied across all subject areas. :)