This year, with an historic Presidential election in the making, civics studies take on a bit more relevance for Mary Tarashuk’s 4th graders. As she worked on her lesson plans this summer, she uncovered fresh resources to help her met five key teaching goals.
Category: Kids on the Cusp
Fourth graders draw surprising conclusions when they get the chance to look back at a whole school year. Mary Tarashuk reviews the year with them and makes plans to tweak the experience next year, creating a new graphic organizer she’ll use with her next class.
As her fourth graders study the lead-up to the American Revolution, Mary Tarashuk finds echoes in today’s confrontation over free speech pitting test makers against teachers and students who question the validity of test elements. Free history resources included.
PARCC testing is finally over for Mary Tarashuk’s fourth graders. Freed from weeks of test prep and days of administering them, she looks for a spark to ignite end-of-year learning and finds courage and “kindling” in the words of inspirational educator Chip Wood.
How to fit it all in? For Mary Tarashuk, switching classes with a 4th grade team teacher is helpful. He takes science; she takes history. One downside: her homeroom kids get extra history instruction through their ELA studies. Might “platooning” be better?
Blending technology into teaching has been an ongoing and often intimidating process for Gen X’er Mary Tarashuk, but it’s also ripe with possibility. And tech PD is often opportunistic. Take Mary’s recent chat with her teen daughter while doing the dirty dishes.
4th grade teacher and NFL fan Mary Tarashuk has been watching lots of football lately, prepping for the Super Bowl. Given her love of metaphors, it’s no surprise she finds some analogies between quarterbacks and teachers running plays in their classroom arenas.
Students need some dangling carrots, not to trick them but inspire them. Trying to get to the root of each individual learner, digging deeper in an effort to recognize each unique person’s contributions to the classroom, help build Mary Tarashuk’s Carrot Community.
When Mary Tarashuk’s college-age nephew tells her he wants to become an English teacher, she smiles a welcome because she can see the “essential fire” in his eyes. He will, she writes, face innumerable challenges, “but also innumerable moments of sheer joy.”
Mary Tarashuk has been so involved in deadlines and paperwork she’s barely had time to reconnect with the reasons she loves teaching. But here in November she finds a way to recapture the classroom magic and “Do Something Meaningful” with her fourth graders.