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Gardening at school with young children | Posted in Early Childhood
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.
Different levels of understanding | Posted in Elementary Science
One thing I have done is leveled puzzles...not hand outs but actual puzzles. If a student finishes their work, they can go to a side table and work on a puzzle of their choice. I started with simple puzzles but over the course of the year, I increased their difficulty. I used jigsaw puzzles or tangrams...I found one kind of puzzle where all the pieces were square with four different pictures on each side and the pieces fit together in only one way--these were extremely challenging and students took many days/weeks to complete (sorry I don't remember what they were called). Puzzles are quiet, independent activities. With only five students, they could collaborate on more difficult puzzles. If they are old enough, you could have them design a puzzle for their peers and let them actually print/cut the puzzle to give to the other students. Great way to engage them in and teach about the design process.
Assigning Homework | Posted in New Teachers
I am in early childhood which can be very different from 4th and 5th. However, I personally view homework to be extremely important in all areas. The most effective methods that I have seen homework done is in large packets for the week and baggy books with comprehension questions each night. In the large packets I have seen a teacher do all reading and math or a couple pieces of the packet to be reading, a couple math and some for writing, science or social studies. I have heard of some elementary schools doing away with homework all together. However, I personally feel that homework is important to help support the involvement of the parents in their child's education and if you do away with homework that is not giving the parents the opportunity to see what their child is doing and learning.
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