Teacher Mary Tarashuk has reasserted her “Irish Zen” following the full frontal assault on PARCC testing in her last post. She describes how her fourth graders had fun learning about Chinese New Year while also practicing for the high stakes test in prescribed ways.
Category: Kids on the Cusp
New Jersey teacher Mary Tarashuk finds herself in a traffic-snarled “PARCCing lot” waiting for March testing madness to begin. In a new Kids on the Cusp post, she lists her concerns –including a PARCC 4th grade reading test sample that levels at Grade 9.
Fourth grade teacher Mary Tarashuk describes how lines from the musical In the Woods, the new Julian chapter of RJ Palacio’s Wonder, and a chance encounter with an anti-bullying article came together to spark some memorable student wisdom about character.
As Mary Tarashuk’s fourth graders took part in the Hour of Code this past December – assuming then switching roles as drivers and navigators in a code writing exercise – she considered how she might play the navigator more often in her own classroom.
Teaching students to “think like historians” begins with making connections between past and present, says teacher Mary Tarashuk. As her 4th graders begin the Age of Exploration, she calls on a Tai Chi parent-expert to help bridge ancient and modern times.
With the fall marathon of parent-teacher conferences finally done, Mary Tarashuk logs onto the district portal to input student grades for the first marking period. And then she finds herself pausing to wonder what authentic assessment truly means – when we’re talking to the people who care most.
Leaping into writing with students can be almost as thrilling as sky-diving, says Mary Tarashuk, who has now tried both. Here she describes how she is modeling “the writer as reader” with her 4th graders and shares their organizer for narrative writing.
This Halloween, don’t miss 4th grade teacher Mary Tarashuk’s self-assessment of how she managed learning on a delightfully creepy day. First presented a year ago, still just as funny. “It’s not all about sugar, but sugar anticipation is in the air.”
Mary Tarashuk fantasizes about a reality TV show that features education policy makers who must survive for a month as classroom teachers without drowning in the paperwork or getting voted off the island by a misguided performance evaluation system.
As a 4th grade teacher, Mary Tarashuk is responsible for helping her students begin the transition from early to more independent learning. At Back-to-School Night, Tarashuk talked with parents about why kids will benefit from some academic struggle.