Late last week, I had the opportunity to guest teach in a 3rd grade classroom for a math lesson. The students’ task was to work on a situation-based problem where the students needed to be flexible with their thinking to solve a problem that did not involve simply finding the sum or difference between two numbers.
The kids paired up and began working through the problem. I asked them to check in with me if they got stuck or when they had the answer. Now, my goal in all of this was to ask the right question to support the students’ work. I knew that during this activity, there would be kids who:
- Got the answer fast, but wouldn’t have anything that documented their thinking;
- Worked hard on the problem but would need reassurance they were on the right track;
- Would need to be extended because they were able to quickly solve the problem;
- Were clueless as to what to do.
Anticipating how to support kids took me a long time to fine tune as a classroom teacher and, if I were still in the classroom, it would be something I would like to keep fine-tuning. One thing that helps me to continue to work on this is taking the time to reflect about how I take on new challenges and how I react to new learning situations. My hope is that this makes me a more empathetic teacher when it comes to supporting students.
I believe educators need to put themselves in situations where they are having to learn something new or where they need to apply a skill to a new situation. Having a self-awareness about what the learning experience feels like can help us support students. I also believe that being learners ourselves helps us anticipate how our students will tackle a learning situation. When this happens, we ask better questions that lead students to new understandings.
Hope you get to learn something new this week!
Worth Checking Out
10 Tips for Creating a Fertile Environment for Kids’ Creativity and Growth https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/10/03/10-tips-for-creating-a-fertile-environment-for-kids-creativity-and-growth/
How To Work Smarter – Not Harder – As A Teacher https://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/work-smarter-not-harder-teacher/
9 – PTO Meeting, 7pm
10 – School Improvement Team Meeting, 8:15am
11 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8:30am
12 – ADE Fall Tailgate, 6:30-7:30pm
17 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
18 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
20 – COI Day, No School
23 – Yearbook Cover Contest (through November 3)
26 – State of the Schools, 6pm Makoy Center
31 – Halloween
2 – Admin mtg, Herb out AM
6 – School Community Meeting, 10:45am; Student Picture Makeup Date
7 – PD Waiver Day, No School for Students
8 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out all day
10 – Veterans Day observed; End of 1st Trimester