By Delia Montgomery. 4th Grade Math. Published at Sunday, November 15th, 2020 - 09:03:58 AM.
Determination is like having your own private football linebacker. Linebackers are part of the defensive team, who provide extra protection to the quarterback. When we show inordinate amounts of determination, we become more resistant to set-backs. The linebacker in us refuses to let the opposition take us down. In a blitz, the linebacker sacks or hurries the opposing offenses quarterback. The linebacker in us will either pursue and demolish the obstacle, or at the very least, apply enough pressure to hurry the play. To have your dreams, youll have to weave and bob around unending obstacles, persist through waves of discouragement (even heartbreak), and charge fiercely towards your goal like a linebacker with the red of blitz in his eye. Who said you couldnt learn anything from football.
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.
Acceptance of Reality Accepting our own, and others limitations is pre-requisite, fundamental, and paramount to achieving more happiness and success in life. It stands to reason: you cant change reality if youre not living in it. Yet we live in denial a lot- more than we realize, more than wed like to admit (we live in denial about living in denial). For a long time I lived in denial about how depressed my teenaged daughter had become. Yes, I took her to counseling, and got her on anti-depressants. But there was a part of me, the parent part of me, that didnt want to admit the steady decline I was seeing in her. The mother in me kept hoping things would change, that she was just being a moody teenager. But the realistic me, the mental health professional in me, was far more worried and skeptical. Everyday these two parts battled for control until the morning I woke up to find my daughter had secretly gone off her anti-depressant, and had taken her own life.
As our children grow, their school situation continues to change. In addition to moving and changing schools we are also faced with in town school changes. We have found that by visiting the schools before school starts a lot of stress can be alleviated. Prior to kindergarten we not only did the whole visit with the teachers that the school asks you to do, we also walked around on a few weekends so that the school, playground and even the parking lot were really comfortable to my daughters. A few times, after school hours, we played in the playground which helped make even the playground a bit more comfortable when school began.
Have you seen that TV show, "Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" The adult contestants compete to win dollars if they can answer typical 1st through 5th grade questions, and they get help from some 5th grade classmates. Rarely do the adult contestants win, and the questions include areas that most of us have long forgotten as we watch the energetic 5th grade classmates get the right answers almost every time. When the adult contestant misses a question it prompts the defensive shameful behavior that we learn along the way in life. In the rare instance that a 5th grader misses, they look reflective, perhaps disappointed, but move along to do better on the next question. My 4th grade girls have yet to learn how uncool it is to show your vulnerability or to be ashamed of how you might be different from others. They just are who they are, excited about life, and learning and full of curiosity and bright energy. I was reminded by the school counselor that just about all of that will change by the time they reach 6th grade. Im sure she is right. My hope is they will remember just a few things about being happy and staying curious to take into adulthood and for some, into meaningful leadership roles.
In elementary school, classroom teachers are responsible for teaching the many ELA standards. In middle and senior high school, the English teachers share responsibility with content areas of science, history, social studies and technology. To put it differently, all teachers will have to be knowledgable about these standards and just how they refer to their unique subject of study. The reading standards are classified into four areas: handling key ideas and details, craft and structure, integration expertise and concepts, plus the choice of reading and level of text complexity. Basically, students must understand content, distinguish among important and less important ideas and analyze the information. While doing this, students should comprehend the vocabulary, the language and evaluate how perspective and purpose affects craft issues. While reading widely from print and digital media, students should be able to evaluate, analyze and synthesize information. Particularly crucial, in line with the standards is the fact that students are comfortable using a range of text complexities.
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