3rd Grade Adventure

Welcome to 3rd Grade.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Parent Teacher Conferences

Last night was our Fall Parent Teacher Conferences.  We had a great turn out in Kindergarten.  I appreciate my Kindergarten Parents.  Some of them like to challenge me sometimes to a "dual" on key issues and I enjoy it...to an extent.  With moving towards a "Standards Based" report card has some confused and concerned. 

Here is my note of encouragement.  Common Core and a learning standards based reporting system is not a fad or a new gimick.  It is coming!  It becomes another way for school districts to insure the proper "stuff" is being taught in classes.  Parents, take peace in knowing that with this "different" way of grading students, it is also grading teachers.  Just like what I told a parent last night.  "The teacher and their quality of instruction is key".  Common Core is not just a "student" issue, it holds teachers to a standard also.  If mediocre teaching is happening, then mediocre learning will be the result.  School districts have to decide what type of teachers they want teaching their youth. What is the common core thread in teachers that make them excellent teachers?  Parents and School Districts....Ask yourself this question.  Who do you want in the classroom preparing and assisting children for thier future paths?   Student's learning is important. "Report Cards" or "Progress Reports" are important too.  There is a way to mesh the two together.   There are many of us (educators) out there with foresight and fortitude to help solve and fine tune "Common Core" issues.  All of this "stuff" will get sorted out.
It's a fact, teachers get "dumped on" all the time.  If only we had "instruction and teaching" to be concerned with solely.  Often we are asked to help or to do many other duties on top of our own classroom duties and lesson preparing.  We get clouded to quickly with additives. That's the wonderful thing about teachers.  Most of us are 100% dedicated to the "learning process" and will do whatever we can to make "school" a good experience for all.

 Some of us at my school district have spent quite a bit of time learning about Common Core and developing a system of rating the child with the standards.  It is an ongoing model and not perfect.  Hopefully by next school year, with guidance from the District, we will have the kinks worked out.  I will post a sample of this soon.  Likewise, it also may be a good model to add to teacher evaulations...just athought.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Differentiated Instruction

Those of you who know me, know that I am a firm believer in the philosophy and methodology of Differrentiated Instruction.  It's a powerful and smart tool for educators to utilize thier classrooms.  It takes a lot of work and thought but is well worth the investment.  Just like any teacher, this time of year I am still fine tuning my " fluid rediness" groups and working towards an individual plan "of sorts" for each child. 

Below is a picture of a book I just finished reading.  It was somewhat helpful.