Back in her beloved Room 4T after eight months of virtual teaching, Mary Tarashuk considers how The Jetsons cartoon show influenced her nine-year old self decades ago – and what she needs to teach her mostly white, suburban 4th graders about life in the real future.
Author: Mary Tarashuk
To get her 4th graders off their remote screens for a good old-fashioned, hands-on collage project to strengthen fine-motor skills, Mary Tarashuk asked them to create image-filled books exploring Room 4T’s central Social Studies question this year: “Who Is America?”
As Mary Tarashuk leads her fourth graders into full-time virtual learning, insights gleaned from the writings of Diane Ravitch and Rosita Boland are helping her see how the pandemic’s sudden jarring changes could lead to a rebirth of public education in the years ahead.
Can Dr. Suess’ 70-year-old allegory The Sneetches still have an impact on children’s social and emotional learning? Surprisingly, some star-bellied creatures made a lasting impression in Mary Tarashuk’s fourth grade class during her NON-fiction research unit this winter.
This term Mary Tarashuk’s 4th graders will be ranging through time and cultures to expand their grasp of what the world is like beyond their suburban lives. She intends to help her future citizens, and herself, become more historically, racially, and culturally literate.
A librarian introduces Mary Tarashuk’s 4th graders to The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate. Mary builds on the true story, taking its cross cultural message to social studies and ELA, and applies its story of rededication to her own teaching.
This year Mary Tarashuk is adding standards-based report cards to her self-contained class of 4th graders. Holding on to John Dewey’s insight about the goal of education, she’ll meet the new challenge with cross-curricular units, student work archives, and pragmatism.
In summer, Mary Tarashuk carefully prepared her literacy hope chest for 2019-20. Now, after a month of school, it has somehow morphed into a Pandora’s box. Though she is sheltering hope in this new box, she feels challenged to meet kids’ needs and district time demands.
What learning ideas have you packed away for summer reflection? With her 4th graders almost out the door, Mary Tarashuk is organizing her literacy notes and resources for a soon to be purchased hope chest, with plans to further evolve her writing workshop skills this fall.
“My learners are young and impressionable,” writes grade 4 teacher Mary Tarashuk. “Teaching them true respect, for themselves and for others, just might get us on the path to improving some bigger problems we see around us.” Learn how Room 4T’s Pay It Forward project supports that goal.