By Marva Cooley. 3rd Grade Math. Published at Wednesday, November 04th, 2020 - 09:18:56 AM.
Recently my son Jack, whos in 3rd grade, had to do a book report and I spent some time guiding him through the process. His teacher had asked the report to consist of 6 elements: Title, Setting, Main Characters, Plot, Problem, and Solution. This got me thinking about how Smart Women could use this exercise to create a clear and focused plan for their business and entrepreneurial dreams. Having a firm foundation is essential for any business to have sustainable growth and long-term success. What do you need in order to create a firm foundation for your Big Idea, Dream, or Goal? You need the same 6 elements that my son Jack used in his book report:
I know that I seem pretty harsh on this young teacher, but his actions indicate a couple of character issues that make teaching a poor career choice for him. Having said that, his situation does point out the two major flaws of the UCSMP program. Because the series is so very different in terminology and methodology, two things need to happen every year. First, new math teachers need the same training all of the teachers received when the series was adopted. I can make a good guess at what happened here. When my district adopted the UCSMP series, we received a great deal of training in the philosophy of the series, lots of teaching help, and even training in teaching reading in a math class because UCSMP is very dependent upon student reading. But that only happened the first year. After that, it became the responsibility of each math department to train new teachers. Sometimes this new teacher training is too hurried or maybe even non-existent. And because we are such a mobile society, it is not at all unusual for the entire department to have completely changed within a very short time. I suspect that this young teacher got little if any instruction into the differences in UCSMP or why it was chosen. UCSMP requires yearly teacher in-servicing.
The long-view is not only that young people will engage in physical exercise to improve brain function in school, but also that those children will grow into adults that also enjoy physical exercise. With people living longer and longer, dementia and Alzheimers disease are greater concerns than theyve ever been. Those who engage in regular physical exercise are less likely to develop symptoms of Alzheimers - a real incentive to get active and stay active. Fencing is not just a sport for the young. Indeed, it is a unique sport that is accessible by all. Not all parents have the resources or the desire to get their kids involved in sports. Some parents dont think beyond the football-baseball-soccer triad. If youre an adult who longs to try fencing, there is no time like the present to get started. The potential for sharpened mental acuity is just one of the benefits youll enjoy as you learn the basics of this fascinating sport.
So, whats wrong with this picture? It certainly seems that he cares about his students and wants what is best for their mathematical futures. If you have read any of my other articles, read my bio, or have been to my website, then you know how important mathematics education is to me; and this situation quite literally appalls me on many levels. New teachers! Are you paying attention? When you get hired by a school district, you are agreeing to teach what they want you to teach, when they want you to teach it, and how they want you to teach it. If you dont want to do that, then you go teach elsewhere. You do not get to unilaterally decide to go off on your own. The school district chose that math series for a reason. This teacher deserved to be fired for breach of contract at the very least. If he was so troubled by the math series, he should have talked to his supervisor immediately. There were solutions to his problems that never got explored because he was so sure he knew better than anyone else. And FYI: Those older teachers have survived in the teaching field because they are wiser and have lots of valuable experiences and lessons to teach you. Take advantage of them. (I am pretty sure that his problems resulted as much from his lack of experience as from the textbook series. The first year of teaching is difficult for everyone.)
Learning during school hours is, quite often, not enjoyable for students. Self-directed activities such as the 5th grade science projects allow the kids to learn from involvement with hands-on projects, and that type of learning is shown to be retained by the student. Students involved in science fairs build friendships with other students and develop strong relationships with teachers and other leaders, making this type of event a valuable teaching tool. National attention is currently focused on student achievement in lower grades, with particular emphasis being placed on reading, math, and science. Opportunities like 5th grade science projects allow students to explore areas that are not always well covered in classes. Placing an emphasis on the core subjects (including science) beginning in 1st grade can foster an increased awareness of the relationship between subjects. Science and math are closely related, and generally success in one may lead to success in the other. Science fairs provide the student with multiple learning opportunities in those areas if the projects selected meet the criteria outlined above.
Fencing is already a sport associated with intellectualism, often called "physical chess" by coaches, fencers, and fans. Participation in the this sport requires fitness and concentration, a powerhouse duo when it comes to increasing brainpower. The study presented at the ACSM Meeting found that among 266 undergraduates, those who exercised vigorously for at least 20 minutes per day had higher grade point averages than those who did not. This isnt the only study showing that physical fitness is linked to greater success in school, and the effect is not limited to college students. Dr. Charles H. Hillman, an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois found that among 259 Illinois 3rd and 5th graders, those in the best physical shape also scored highest on math and reading in standardized testing. Regardless of the childrens individual socioeconomic situation, the findings held.
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