By Susana Patrick. 4th Grade Math. Published at Sunday, November 22nd, 2020 - 19:15:53 PM.
The day proceeded normally. It was a rainy day, with an indoor recess, and an educational assistant came to my room to monitor the class while I took my 15-minute break. When I came back at the end of my break, the educational assistant was nowhere to be seen. The boys were all clustered near my desk, sitting on the floor, actively engaged with something. I quickly realized they had torn open the bag from the toy store, opened each of the puzzles, and had the pieces scattered all over the floor. I was upset... at the assistant who was supposed to be monitoring my class, and at the students, for getting into my personal items and opening puzzles intended for my as-yet-unborn child. I sternly demanded that the boys put the puzzles back together! And then I watched in utter amazement, as I realized that not one of these 4th grade boys was able to put the pieces of a simple inset puzzle back in place!
My philosophy is that how you spend your time and resources reveals what your priorities are. This is my third year of creating a master schedule for Bladen Lakes Primary School. My efforts each year follow the process outlined in the book Elementary School Scheduling: Enhancing Instruction for Student Achievement by Robert Lynn Canady and Michael D. Rettig. This year, I am explicitly charting out the steps I took in making the schedule. My faculty and I at the school participate in shared leadership. The foundation of the schedule is laid out through multiple ongoing conversations with teachers, parents, and students.
A few minutes later I sent her an email and apologized. She responded to my email a few days later with a simple Apology Accepted, an emoji thumbs up, and a wish for a blessed and happy Thanksgiving. Just like that I had apologized, and she accepted. It was over. Something I have worried about on and off for almost 40 years was over. Im not sure what I was afraid of or what I expected to feel, its not like she would have actually called me, its not like Id bump into at the grocery store, we lived almost 1,000 miles from each other, but I was still afraid. I guess I expected to make my amends and feel great, like a huge load was lifted off my shoulders, but I didnt. I expected to see unicorns outside my window sliding down a rainbow giving me a high five, but I didnt see that either. I just thought to myself, OK check that off the list.
There are a lot of ways to help your child study their 4th grade spelling words. Once your child reaches 4th grade, they are already reading fairly well and the challenges of school are increasing. Many children bring home spelling lists of nearly 30 words or more to learn each week. Spelling can be fun and its a great way to improve your childs vocabulary and confidence. For students and parents to rise to the new challenges of 4th grade, we have compiled some quick tips for spelling success. Tip #1 - Study spelling words often during the week. Theres no substitute for practice and, as they say, practice makes perfect. If your child can study multiple times before test day, your childs scores should improve.
4th grade science project ideas are fairly easy to do and can be lots of fun for the class. Kids this age are naturally curious and full of energy so its fairly simple to come up with a fun project that can keep their attention. Theyre always asking questions, trying to further their knowledge of the world around them so think about questions they have asked you because theres a good chance lots of them can be turned into an exciting science experiment for them to try. Basically what you need for a successful science project is a question, a hypothesis and a conclusion. Some 4th grade science projects that have been done in the past include seeing how worms react to light, seeing if plants can grow when watered with liquids other than water (milk, juice, vinegar, etc) and finding out if birds have a preference to what kind of material their houses are made out of (ex. wood, plastic, etc).
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.
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