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Friday, March 17, 2017

Teaching Rotary

As I considered the teaching/learning decisions today, I thought of a rotary. When you drive around the rotary, there are multiple paths you may choose. The same is true for teaching a particular standard or skill--there are many paths to take. You may decide to take the computer path, the explicit teaching path, the small group project path, game or the video path. Like most educators, I try to employ most of those paths in the teaching/learning curriculum since students gain different learning and content skills via each path. I like to mix it up.

There are some limitations to the paths such as class size, time, and room size, but in general, I'm fortunate to work in an organization where there are few limitations.

So as I consider the multiple paths ahead, and the will to expose students to all the standards they'll face on the upcoming systemwide and state assessments, I'll use a variety paths with the following plan.

  • Catch-up Day: Today students will catch-up by finishing tests and working to complete online skills activities.
  • Explicit Teaching: Multiplication and Division of Fractions. We have a lot of skills to learn and practice here. The fraction project work is ongoing too, and it will be good to make time for that.
  • Volume exploration. Since students have been introduced to the main concepts, this lends itself to small group project work.
  • Geometry exploration: This lends itself to lots of drawing and thinking about geometry.
  • Measurement: This, like the volume unit, lends itself to small group project work since students have already been introduced to the concepts.
  • Test review: By this time students will have been exposed to all skills, and will be ready for a practice menu of many choices.
  • Online practice: There's multiple online practice options which I'll encourage in the days ahead.
The plan is set. It will be a busy six weeks or so of skills, practice, and testing. After that we'll move into our STEAM/play/biography project phase--a more playful phase of the school year. Onward.