By Beverley Shannon. 4th Grade Math. Published at Sunday, November 22nd, 2020 - 14:29:18 PM.
Whatever the case may be, Im sad in a way that Ive checked that one off my list. Not because I didnt want to fix things with Elizabeth, but because I feel slightly older and like Im at the end of a magnificent book with only a few chapters left. I know that is not really true and that fifty is the new thirty, whatever that means. But maybe what it means is its time to make a new list, a more fun list. Maybe there are two life lists. The first part of your life and the first list you are cleaning up old issues and the second part of your life and second list are meant to have unencumbered fun. That thought makes me smile.
Once you have that information, work backwards. Assume that the skills and knowledge levels will be in place by the end of the year, and then determine when you will need to build each skill into the academic year. Depending on the subject you teach, this will take different forms, but dont feel "married" to the scope and sequence of the textbooks suggested order. Select the points that certain skills need to be mastered, and then work backwards to build in the lessons and topics that will build those skills in or that knowledge base at the right time. You may be surprised to find that in some cases, the suggested order of the textbook can be adjusted to make your lesson plans flow more smoothly in your school for your specific classroom and for the strengths and weaknesses of the specific class you teach.
Students may have ideas about their future vocation. They may want to be an astronaut or super-star in sports. As they become a bit more realistic, the choices they have will depend heavily on their education. In considering future employment, its common to overlook the importance of math competency. Almost every good job requires adequate math skills. Some demand advanced math competence. These include any branch of medicine, most managerial positions, engineers, lab technicians, pilots, construction workers, graphic designers, surveyors, accountants, bookkeepers, teachers, many retail jobs, most government jobs, and the list goes on and on. Parents and young students may not realize the importance of early mastery of math fundamentals. Mathematics is a subject that builds on prior knowledge. Once you fall behind, math becomes drudgery and requires more time to complete homework assignments. It is wrong to assume that since electronic calculators can do math computations quickly, memorization of basic facts doesnt really matter anymore. Without basic fact fluency, frustration levels will only increase.
Often, the instructional year is looked at in isolation. 5th grade teachers only look at 5th grade curricula, 3rd grade teachers only look at 3rd grade, 8th grade teachers only look at 8th grade, etc. Rather than planning your academic year based on your textbooks only, consider looking at your academic year as one "leg" in a relay race. Its your job as an educator to cover the skills, strengths, "speed," and accuracy of the leg youre on, as well as the hand off to the next leg in the race. Using backwards educational goals makes this much easier, and the scope of your classroom instruction will be much more thorough.
Many teachers plan their year based on the textbooks order and agenda for the school year. This isnt bad, but often it fails to take into consideration the actual skills needed for the next year, and only addresses the lessons to be covered. The lessons to be covered are critical, but from the perspective of the skills necessary to move forward. Instead of planning the year forward, if teachers would plan for backwards education, skills would be steadily increased and students would be more prepared for the upcoming year along the way. The concept is simple. As a teacher, determine what skills, or what knowledge needs to be mastered by your students before they complete your grade levels learning. In other words, if you teach 4th grade, what skills would the 5th grade teachers in your school hope and pray that your students have learned when they walk in the door for 5th grade. Talk to the teachers in the grades above you. Find out what they think are the greatest challenges at their grade level, and how skill or knowledge deficits have affected their instructional year.
If you are the parent of a child that is attending school then you know that when it comes to the science fair finding an experiment can be a daunting task as well as an expensive one. There are many experiments that you can find that are free whether they are in 4th grade or grade 7 you can find hundreds of free science experiments on a variety of topics that you can do for now cost at all. Whether you are looking for a simple science experiment or a difficult one there are many types of projects you can choose from. If you have a younger child one of the most popular free science experiments out there is the balloon attraction experiment. You will need 2 or more balloons, string, a sweater with wool on it, shallow pan of water and small torn pieces of paper. You will need to blow the balloons up and tie them off with a string. You will then charge the balloons by rubbing them against the sweater. You will then need to bring the balloon close to the water without touching it and see what effect the balloons have with the water. Make sure that you have a set of questions you have written up before performing this project so that you can answer them. If you have an older child there are some more difficult free science experiments you can do as well. When it comes to the science fair it does not have to be a stressful time for students it can be something fun that allows a parent and child together while learning something new. You also do not have to limit these times to once a year because you have the ability to do them whenever you want and it can really help in allowing a child to always be learning.
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