As she introduces the idea of symbolism with their first read-aloud of the year, Mary Tarashuk finds a new way to teach her fourth graders about choices. She’s calling this discovery “harnessing the power of paper airplanes.” It’s a great formative assessment tool, too.
Category: Kids on the Cusp
Mary Tarashuk is counting on Peter Brown’s fiction picture books to enliven her 4th graders’ adaptation to their new classroom and their first science unit on animal and plant adaptation. The Global Read Aloud, featuring Brown’s Roz the Wild Robot, is in the wings.
Trying to “fit it all in” can lead to frustration and lost opportunities for new educators. As 4th grade teacher Mary Tarashuk looks back to her own first year, she recalls her preoccupation with the ticking clock and how she learned to take time for what matters.
As teens respond en masse to the Netflix series Thirteen Reasons Why, the story of a girl who chooses suicide, Mary Tarashuk considers how difficult topics can be part of learning for her 4th graders and how their read-alouds and personal writing can build empathy.
As she receives the Educators’ Choice Award for her blog post “Teaching By Doing Something Meaningful” at her first national conference, Mary Tarashuk remembers Madeline Hunter’s simple wisdom and considers the teaching power that comes from writing with students.
Positive and constructive self-assessments are what Mary Tarashuk wants for her fourth graders. Recently they used reflective writing to consider their own progress (and the progress of their class) more realistically, and to learn to set personal goals for growth.
Mary Tarashuk’s perceptive 4th graders take note of the world around them, in fiction and in the news. As they follow and study the US election, they also learn about the power of people helping one another during their Global Read Aloud of Sara Pennypacker’s Pax.
Always on the lookout for opportunities to enrich her 4th graders’ learning, Mary Tarashuk made a test run with the Global Read Aloud’s 2016 choice, “Pax,” and is ready with added resources for October/November’s worldwide immersion in Sara Pennypacker’s book.
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.
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.