By Beryl Ford. 4th Grade Math. Published at Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 - 13:15:05 PM.
Dorit: In your blog, you focus on various ways teachers can engage students. What do you feel by far is the most critical and challenging area(s) for new teachers to acquire? How do you feel about the task of engaging students? Damien: Great question on engaging students. People are attracted to energy. When a teacher is involved and enthusiastic in what she/he is teaching, kids are drawn there. That place is where learning occurs. The way to get there as a teacher is highly up to the individual. If I see a new teacher talking about the objective assigned to her as if she is walking barefoot on broken glass, I will ask her later: "What part of that boring lesson COULD you enjoy teaching?" Usually I get some wild answers after a while. The conclusion we come to is that you have to be interested of the kids wont buy in. New teachers should start finding the ways to be comfortable with the material, the delivery, the "tech toys" like projectors etc, and all the stuff they use to teach. As that comfort is developed, kids will want to come to class and they will learn. Kids are like sponges but if theres no water. Dorit: How has the internet affected teachers ability to think in more dynamic terms of engaging their learners? Your students writing? Damien: I enjoy keeping a blog but that may not be everyones cup of tea. The internet makes it possible to instantly gather photos and information on a variety of topics each day for your kids. I try to do my planning on Thu and Fri after school. At that time I assemble all the stuff I can from the internet. Its also a way to connect with teachers across the globe and escape "the box" of your school site or district thinking patterns.
4th Grade Science Fair Projects Science fair projects need to be tickle the imagination of the student. The project can be relatively simple but the concept needs to challenge the intellect. If parents are doing a search on the web, they need to know that they will probably end up completely annoyed. Many sites will give part of an experiment and make you pay for the rest. Or, some sites will make you subscribe, paid of course, to the site to see the selection of experiments. Many of the sites will simply direct you to unrelated websites. For these reasons, we really encourage both students and parents to invest in a couple of excellent books on science fair projects. These projects can be used not just this year, but for all future schooling years. This will stop the hurried search at the last minute for science projects on the web. We will say it again - Dont keep searching for science projects on the internet. Buy some good books or e books on the subject so you have the necessary ideas and materials ahead of time.
I want my teachers to be able to retrace my steps and perhaps provide alternative schedules or make adjustments that I had not considered. All alternatives to the master schedule should be presented to the grade level committee using the same methodology and should be based on deliberate strategy. "I dont want to teach after lunch" is an example of a schedule request that is not well thought out. An example of a schedule request that is well thought out might be, "If teacher A and teacher B trade media center times on Tuesdays, the second grade could have additional common planning time."
For years and years, I looked for her, Elizabeth from 4th grade and even with the advent of social media I could never find her. Every time Id hear a story about bullying I saw her face and then mine. When I saw the movie Flatliners, I couldnt get her out of my head for a month. I wanted so badly to apologize to this little 4th-grade girl, and I never thought Id get the chance. That is until the other day; there she was by complete accident on a friends Facebook feed. I was scared to befriend her, I wondered if she remembered me, I wondered if she hated me, I wondered if she even cared, I wondered if she had the same childhood memory I lugged around for almost half a century. I tucked fear into the back seat, and then I requested her as a friend on Facebook. In what seemed like an instant she accepted my request. My hands were trembling, and I was afraid. My hope was she didnt remember the incident or me.
Intervention Intervention is usually something touted as what will help schools in crisis. The current wave of instructional approaches are called "Response to Intervention" or RTI. This approach uses programs that have been "researched" and "proven effective", a major component of the No Child Left Behind approach to education reform. Regardless of what level the instructional needs of the child are, the teachers read directly from scripts developed for the research that proved the approaches to be effective and use materials, activities and text passages designed to go along with those scripts. The point of it all is to focus attention on an instructional process that has been already been effective. The problem is that the assignments may be correctly executed, but they may still not be understood or mastered by students. The primary reason that students do not achieve under this approach is that what is being taught is developmentally too difficult for them to master. They may memorize every word, every fact, but the rote memorization cannot be applied to similar words or facts in different situations. The problem remains the same: children are not always developmentally ready for what schools narrowly presume the "average child" should master. The 4th grade student reading at 2nd grade level experiences the 4th grade materials. Is that child likely to read above 2nd grade after this type of instruction? It is highly unlikely, because the original problems concerning readiness remain. Prevention
The predominance of reading and writing are of informational materials, evaluating the content, forming opinions and persuading. Never are students asked to read or write for entertainment; the pure joy of reading or writing is never mentioned. Forget about humor! A second emphasis within the Common Core ELA standards is college-and-career readiness. Because of this things are all geared toward businesses. Students are asked to work in teams, to manage technology, to negotiate opinions and try to persuade using reason. They have to work with independence, writing for several audiences, tasks, purposes and among various disciplines. They handle facts competently, both researching material and understanding facts; they quickly proceed to evaluation and critique of factual material. As soon as they give opinions, they back them with specific facts and strong evidence. All the while they work collaboratively and incorporate technology regularly. A balanced view is required for team work and they also should respect other perspectives and cultures.
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