Peter, your story illustrates how a well-executed method to address a problem can work. If it solved the problem, it can be dropped. You needn’t be bound to a system that is no longer needed. Celebrate the growth (not forgetting) and move on to other fruitful work. If the need reveals itself again, it can be re-instituted.
You could start anywhere in this series–you’d need to find what level “fits.” Starting relatively “low” could have several benefits: it might provide the student an opportunity to do well, it might cover some things he didn’t know before, and it might reinforce some things he learned before by coming “at” them in another way. Also, the student…[Read more]
Check out an old standby–the “Plaid Phonics Books” that have taught over 50 million children to read and have been on the market for 50 years. Their name refers to the “plaid” colored covers they had for many years. They are marketed by Modern Curriculum Press, apparently owned by Pearson currently. They have worktexts for grades 1-6. Each level…[Read more]
Plan your instructional approaches in such a way that you could not proceed without the use of significant wall space for visuals.
Use the energy of students to create many of them–especially in middle grades and up. Post changing displays of student work: illustrated vocabulary words, penmanship samples, neatly done math work, book reports,…[Read more]
The energy of students can be utilized to good advantage at recess by having them take needed equipment outside, set up/take down boundary markers, and take responsibility for making sure all equipment is brought indoors and stowed properly.
Also, invite your students to invent new games, perhaps by modifying or adapting existing games. It’s a…[Read more]
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed introducing a few anthems from an old source, the Star of Bethlehem, first published in 1889. My edition is the 5th, printed in 1990. A few were Sing Unto the Lord; O God, Be Merciful,and Hark! The Song of Jubilee!
This input regarding math curriculum is to alert those of you who may not know about them to some “classic” texts that anyone considering changes in their secondary math texts should consider. Math is not my field, but our math teachers have used both Mathematics: A Human Endeavor (third edition) and Geometry (2nd edition) for years at our school.…[Read more]
For the oral recording/reporting assignment I described earlier, my students used something called a cassette recorder–a device from another era that is actually still viable and technologically unsophisticated. But today a variety of digital voice recorder options are available that would serve the purpose well.
I wish I had introduced this practice years ago: Having students (secondary, in this case) present a significant research report in oral, recorded form proved to be a valuable assignment. In this case, I had them find more than one biography on the same person, read them both for perspective; then produce a twenty minute recorded presentation.…[Read more]
Another idea for inspiring lifelong reading…
Probably every community has a half dozen or more adults who enjoy reading, find time to read, and would be happy to share some readings with students. As you make your schedule this summer, book one of them to visit your class monthly and bring along two of their favorite current “reads.” Give them a…[Read more]
The two preschool documents Lucas called your attention to in his June 1 post would be excellent practical handouts to give your parents of preschoolers. One could be distributed to all families with potential preschoolers when their child is two or three; the checklist could be given a year before they anticipate enrolling so they know what…[Read more]
We have a four year cycle for 9-12 Bible (taught as one class each year).
1: Life of Christ, with chronological and theme studies (parables, miracles, sermons). One resource book is Rabboni.
2. Wisdom books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes. Job is an overview, with a study of the plot and major dialogue themes. Resource book for Psalms is the…[Read more]
A document entitled Laying a Solid Pre-school Foundation has been posted here on the Dock both under Philosophy & Leadership>Curriculum & Instruction and also under Teaching & Learning>Literacy.
It provides ideas schools can share with parents of preschoolers to give them direction on specific activities for their children to help develop the…[Read more]
Some of you have just finished school; some are in the process at the moment. What have you done to bring a purposeful, satisfying conclusion to the year?
Did you review some high points, academically and socially? Storytelling? Photo display on the bulletin board? Compare beginning-of-year problems with end-of-year problems to show growth? In…[Read more]
Our program is in early April, featuring samples of what students learned during the year. It intentionally selects material from across the curriculum.
It typically opens with an all-school song or two; then the presentations progress through the age levels. Offerings come from any subject, many of them integrated.
For example,…[Read more]
Darrell’s reference to “reading recovery” cites two very helpful resources: an article and a video.
The video is one of several easily available on the subject of reading fluency. For example, a lecture by Dr. Timothy Rasinski’s on “The Essentials of Developing Reading Fluency” provides the following suggestions:
a. Fluency is the bridge betw…[Read more]
Especially for secondary students, staying after school for a supervised study time is often one of the most effective options. Some system to trigger after-school study detention is helpful, such as following a specified number of incomplete assignments. The need for separate transportation home typically adds a bit of gravity to the issues.…[Read more]
I’ve sometimes assigned 7th/8th students to keep a reading log of pages read weekly–whether in articles, stories, books. Mostly they read books, but not necessarily whole books. We filled a “thermometer” on the wall with pages read with a goal of tens of thousands, which I thought was high, but they topped it by March. Once a week or so, I took…[Read more]
For middle and upper grades (I’ve used it in 7th & 8th), an excellent read is Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry. Themes are developed through following the experiences that a black landowning family faced in the South in the 1930’s. The children go to a separate school for blacks, with castoff books from the nearby white school. The…[Read more]
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