It was traditional classrooms or open classrooms, teaching reading using whole language or phonics. Why don't educators understand that teaching is not just one way? Students thrive with multiple approaches and methods. We all like a little spice in life!
The bottom line: There are all kinds of minds in a classroom with all kinds of strengths, weaknesses and affinities. Some of us learn best by doing, others by seeing, still others by listening. Some of us are creative thinkers, while others more linear, logical thinkers.We have to teach to all of them and not to "the average student" (who in my opinion does not really exist). Learning has to be meaningful and as such we need to spice it up so everyone can wrap their minds around whatever topic is up on the docket.
|From Theme Thursday (http://themethursday.blogspot.com)|
What does this mean for parents?
Whether your kids are in school or home schooled
- Talk about the topics they are covering in the classroom.
- Visit museums with related exhibits,
- Watch movies that deal with these topics,
- Brainstorm about what might happen if... or what might have happened if...
- Go to the library or book store and get books related to the subject (either fiction, nonfiction or science fiction; prose or graphic novel) to read aloud together (and discuss).
- Create your own experiments or products from ages and eras being studied.
- If studying colonial America, for example, make candles or butter as they did back then. Find recipes from the countries and eras your child is studying.
- Create a "day in the life" of characters you are reading about in language arts, or studying in science or history;
- In math, ask students to show their work, but if they compute something differently, pay attention to it, ask them to prove this to be a viable method by using it on different examples. IF it doesn't work, they will more easily use your methods. If it does work you have allowed them to create a more lasting understanding of underlying processes.
- When evaluating students, don't just give tests. (Test taking is an important skill, but it is not the only skill and memorizing for tests, is not always the best way to assure retention.) Have students create projects, plays, dioramas, etc.
- When teaching make sure students can play with the subject and materials. Pose questions that really make them think and apply the subject matter, present verbal and visual aspects of the lesson, introduce it so that it somehow relates to their own lives.
- http://www.garlikov.com/Soc_Meth.html Provides a compelling argument for using the Socratic method of teaching - even in a third grade math class. It is worth a visit!
- If you ask them to read passages, ask them to relay the passages in graphic novel form, or to act out some aspect of the lesson (making it visual and tactile as well).
These are just some generic suggestions. Please let me know what works or worked for you as a student, as a parent, and/or as a teacher. How did or do you spice learning up?