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Gardening at school with young children | Posted in Early Childhood

Peggy,

I think you should do it in the spring considering that they have moved into a new location, meaning give it some time for them to settle in to their new environment. Regardless, doing it during the spring time will help the plants grow at a faster pace than any other season as during the spring, it isn't raining too much or it isn't too hot like the summer. I honestly find the gardening idea to be fascinating to both the students and the instructors as it shows students what living things like flowers, need in order to survive.

Pamela


Pamela Perozo

STEM as a "special"?? | Posted in STEM

Beth and everyone,
You might also post this question on the STEM, earlychildhood and elementary email lists/listservs run by NSTA. You will add to the conversation and reach even more experienced NSTA members. The responses come to email instead of being archived on a platform but the conversations are just as helpful.

My experience is with children ages 2.5-5 years old--also a wide developmental range : ) I haven't taught in your situation but over the years I've heard from others who have.
They say that organizing the materials for 5 classes a day of children in grades K-8 will make your teaching time more productive.
Think about what materials can be left out for subsequent classes. For example, having high shelves where I can quickly move trays of materials used by the 4/5s when the Twos come into the room is essential.
Think about projects that can involve multiple ages at different levels, such as gardening. While middle school students are examining cell structure using microscopes, Kindergarten students can be planting seeds. The NGSS Appendix E-Progressions Within the Next Generation Science Standards can help us make decisions about what to teach when.
In keeping with research that shows children learn over time, plan to teach a concept over weeks and months, not just one week, especially the K-2 students.

I hope your colleagues in the grade level classrooms can meet with you to see how you all can collaborate so science-technology-engineering-math doesn't become isolated from the rest of the children's learning.
Best wishes for a successful program!
Peggy Ashbrook


Margaret Ashbrook

Seating Charts | Posted in New Teachers

I teach third grade so I can only give an elementary perspective. I have always with the exception of one time assigned seating spots to my students. I always start the school year in desk pods usually four to five to a pod depending on how many students I have. This year I have 18. There have been years when I had to make quick adjustments because certain kids just can't sit together. I like the beginning of the year to go as smoothly as possible with setting expectations and instilling good habits. I do keep students who need more help or direction closer to the front but I mixed them up with other students so they don't feel singled out. I never seat students by learning ability. When I was in elementary school I did have a teacher who did this and I always felt bad for the lower kids because we all knew they were the lower kids. Unless we are doing state testing, I never put my students in the traditional rows. This is my least favorite way to set up a classroom.
The one time I let my students pick their spots was when I taught 4th grade. Overall they were a good class so I decided to try it out. It ended up with boys sitting with boys and girls sitting with girls. They promised me they would behave so I wouldn't change their spots. They were good for about 3 days and then I could see they couldn't handle it. Once I had them back in assigned seating they were back to their old selves. Don't be afraid to move kids if needed.


Brenda Velasco

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