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Success with science (288 out of 365) #blogaday

Today, the children explored the pumpkins and did a very good job of guessing! There was quite a range of numbers for the lines and weight – 5 pounds to 100 pounds, and 8 lines to 65 lines. I really enjoyed seeing the wheels turn as some of the girls lifted the pumpkins to see how heavy they were, and another child used the smaller pumpkins to compare the height of the biggest one. It is interesting what science discovery can do!

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Fresh for Fall (282 out of 365) #blogaday

The Fall unit is here! This will be very exciting to see the children explore the different leaves and reasons for Autumn. On Friday, some of the kids started picking up leaves on the grass and noticing that they don’t all look the same – I am ready to help the class think critically about the world around them through science and other activities. I love the weather in Fall as well because it is cooler and just plain beautiful out in nature. Simply walking around the center, the children can get a feel for Fall and how it looks compared to the season before.

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Animal alphabet (228 out of 365) #blogaday

I’m bringing back the animal alphabet post because it will be used this week at work! We currently have an alphabet letters unit, which entails discovery and exploration of sounds and the letters. I thought the students should color in the templates that I draw out, rather than having them draw the animal characteristics on the letters – I was unsure this morning how I was going to give them the activity, but as I started drawing them, I realized that it was hard to ask the students to do. These will be going on the wall to display for parents in my classroom so I also want them to look presentable. The pictures below, D for dinosaur and B for bee, are some of the letters I will be using in the template (I drew them! 😮 ) animal alphabet (1) animal alphabet (2)

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Turn down the teacher talk (42 out of 365) #blogaday

I read an article recently, entitled “8 ways teachers can talk less and get kids talking more,” about the importance of students talking more than the teacher. Student collaboration and discussions are more beneficial than them being lectured at. I pulled two of the eight ways that stuck out as ones I hadn’t heard before. They are both about altering what the teacher says. One was about turning statements into prompts or questions (i.e. instead of “take a look at #3, it’s wrong,” you would say “how did you get your answer to #3”). This was interesting to me because so many teachers just let the child know they got something wrong, but don’t follow-up for explanation from the student. Having them go through the steps of their thinking process can really help you understand the student better as well as notice the error easier. The second one involved changing the statement, “does that make sense, to “can you put that in your own words” – it helps everyone remember content if they hear it again and their peers can summarize it in a simpler way.

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My graduate program is very student-centered, so allowing for more discussion than lecturing is a large part of that. There are some things that seem like you need they need to be lectured about, but you can always have the students discuss what they think of the topic and tell you their ideas instead. Discovering the information in a collaborative space is a great way to learn! It doesn’t always need to just be discussions either. They can figure out the process through research, stations, games, etc. Education has a such a strain on testing, but the student can find out information through more exploratory ways.teacher talk less post