In last week's post Gretchen shared ideas about how to help foster reading at home. The experience in my home dovetails nicely with her focus on reading. My kid loves to read, but math is not her thing. She's good at it, but she'd rather spend time writing stories or reading. I was the same way. That doesn't bother me or really concern me as a parent.
What is troublesome is the negative talk that has crept slowly into our home. She declares "I hate math" or "I'm not good at math." I've done all the things the experts have told me to do: Talk about how much I love math. Focus on finding math in every day life (I could do better at that). Talk about how I'm good at math and she's good at math. But it isn't working. So I've done a dive into ideas for help. So here's a Take 5 with a math focus for teachers and parents alike. It's messy. Just as with real math, there is not just one method to answer the problem; but the more you know, hopefully the more you can help your own kid or the kids in your classroom.
My oldest son started reading early -- he was into chapter books before he started kindergarten. Reading came easily to him and is still, at 13, his favorite pastime. I assumed the same would hold true for my younger son. But as all parents quickly learn, each child is different. When reading hadn’t stuck by second grade, I hit the panic button-- met with teachers, studied articles on phonetics instruction, went through some testing, all the while reminding myself of the whole “each child is different” thing...I can comfortably say that now, entering fourth grade, my youngest child is a reader. He had support from fantastic teachers in second and third grade, but I also believe that as a librarian and a mom, what happens at home matters a whole lot too in terms of a child’s reading development. Here are some strategies I have discovered and rediscovered on my parenting journey. I hope they will help you continue to kindle a love of reading in your own home or even better, if you are an educator perhaps these strategies can be shared with your student's parents as a way of helping them foster a love of reading at home.
This week's post marks our first ever BubbleUp Classroom Take10. We are super excited to bring this new feature to our BubbleUp Classroom readers. As you know, we believe to our core that when teachers share great ideas bubbleup. In that spirit, we'll be doing a
Q and A every month with one educator. We'll ask each educator the same TEN questions and see what amazing things we learn on along the way.
We're beginning our Take10 journey with educator Jes McCutchen. She's also the creator of Planner Flotsam (Instragram: @PlannerFlotsam). At the end of this post, she's offering a fantastic free give-away for teachers. Here's sneak peak of the charming planner stickers she's designed just for our BubbleUp readers.
Walking around schools, I still see rows and rows of desks. What? It's not every classroom, but it shows that some of us are still teaching in the 21st century using 20th century design. So if you are one of those row people (I used to be one too), this post is for you. Some of us are willing to jump in and change everything all at once. But perhaps you want to redesign your classroom in more manageable chunks; dip your toe in the water with one or two changes.
Whatever changes you hope to implement, I highly recommend thinking them through before students set foot in the door. Classroom design should support learning; it needs to be planned and implemented before the school year begins so that your focus can then shift to building relationships with students, teaching content, creating your classroom community, and fine-tuning your classroom design. Here is checklist of sorts for establishing a more flexible space. You can do all of them, one, or a combination of a few. So bust up the rows and make the 2018-2019 a year of positive change for you and your students.
We're in the midst of summer and I've been thinking about how to ensure I am ready to jump into the new school year refreshed and full of energy to bring out the best in myself and my students. I love summer for the time it offers me with my own children, for its slower pace, for spending long days out in the sunshine. I also like that in the education profession, summer gives us a reset. This week's Take5 focuses on ways teachers can use summer to its fullest.
Happy Fourth of July to our BubbleUp Classroom readers! In the spirit of all things summer, we hope you'll check out one of our favorite past posts: Summer recharge: reflect, reach out, reimagine. We'll be back next week with a new post. Until then, we hope you find yourselves reenergized by sunshine and the company of friends and family this week and all summer long.
-Corey and Gretchen
Take 5: Student Attention, Relationship Building, Civic Education, the Homework Debate, and Classroom Design
This week's post is all about being student centered. How can we increase student attention to classroom tasks, build relationships with students, and increase their advocacy skills? Moreover, this post delves into research about the never-ending homework debate. The numbers are in... the question is now what do we do with them? Lastly, we close with a look at classroom design over the past century, with an eye on where we are headed. So kick up those feet (after all, it's summer,right?) and Take5.
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