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.
Tagged: Kids on the Cusp
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.
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.
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.