Upper elementary teacher Mary Tarashuk – who has always viewed “teach” as an action verb – is learning to step back and let students pursue their interests and passions more often, with the help of laptops & content-specific anchor activities.
Author: Mary Tarashuk
Applying literacy workshop principles, Mary Tarashuk discovers new ways to blend ELA & social studies content. She describes how a novel about the Old West exploits of disguised woman Charley Parkhurst increased 4th graders’ interest in American history.
How to cope with teacher evaluation rubrics that don’t work in the real world? Shift your thinking and find one that does. That’s what Mary Tarashuk is doing by adapting a student rubric created by Michael Fisher & Nancy Cook to reflect on her own practice.
Continuing a long tradition, Mary Tarashuk reads a novel aloud to her fourth graders after lunch. But this year, in pursuit of “close reading,” she tries out several graphic organizers to help them probe deeper into the dramatic novel Red Kayak.
“It’s hard to come to terms with the digital dinosaur in myself,” writes 5th grade teacher Mary Tarashuk, who’s been asked to help create online courses. “Technology benchmarks are a bit vague for this novice traveler on the Information Superhighway.”
It’s report card time again – when carefully constructed comments join all those letter grades to say something to parents about each student’s progress. Mary Tarashuk shares some of her “eggshell” observations, and lets us in on the translations.
Storytelling, in its richest form, has an incredible impact on children, writes 4th grade teacher Mary Tarashuk. As her students explore the world of August Pullman in R.J. Palacio’s novel Wonder, she witnesses passion-based learning in full flower.
Middle grades teacher Mary Tarashuk has reached the final rubric in her state’s mandated teacher self-assessment: Professional Responsibilities. She says the words used to define “highly effective” performance seem out of synch with real teaching.
Mary Tarashuck recalls the holiday Venn diagrams she and her 4th graders organized for the first grade kids and imagines some circles of her own – celebrating her colleagues and her past accomplishments and setting some goals for the future.
A Thanksgiving visitor (a student from 16 years past) offers our Kids on the Cusp blogger – 4th grade teacher Mary Tarashuk – a good hook for her latest look at New Jersey’s mandatory self-assessment rubrics for teachers. This time she reflects on what Family and Community Outreach means to her teaching.