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.
Tagged: Kids on the Cusp
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.
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.
For Mary Tarashuk looking ahead toward her 4th graders’ learning in the new semester requires taking a glance back, in an attempt to assess their progress so far and set worthy goals for the journey to come. Holiday cards from Emma, Lila and Mooish show her the way.
Making the usual New Year resolutions to “do better” can bring out her “inner Scrooge” says veteran middle grades teacher Mary Tarashuk. After reflecting on nearly two decades of classroom wonder and success, she decides to opt for her “inner Frosty” instead.
Once again it’s fall and the read-aloud rug in Mary Tarashuk’s 4T classroom is drawing new kids and characters closer together. First up: Fish in a Tree’s Ally Nickerson. Coming soon, another Global Read Aloud choice, Amal Unbound. Two girls with differences to share.
After 17 years Mary Tarashuk finds her memory-laden purple bookshelf can no longer carry the load. As she moves her read aloud novels to a brightly lit window shelf, she checks in with her collection to determine which 4th grade favorites will star in the new school year.
Mary Tarashuk’s fourth graders dedicate a large part of their end-of-year together looking back at where they began and how far they have come, not only as individuals, but as a classroom community. The Workshop journaling model helps everyone share their conclusions.