Because August and September are school-starting months, our posts in these months will focus on things that help students get a good start at school. Below are three starters.
Think about your own school experience. Think about a specific grade in elementary, middle, or high school. Why did you pick that grade? Was it a great year or a not-so-great year? Why? Looking back, what made it great or what would have made it better? How can you help your students have a great year like you did, or how could you help your child avoid any of the problems you might have had in school?
Think about the first days of school. What were your first days of school like? What were the first days like for your past students? On your first day with your students, share any lessons learned from your past.
Play the “What If” game. How? You make up situations, and then take turns suggesting what to do in the situation. “What If” encourages students to think about what he should do in certain situations. Take turns describing school situations (“What if you have trouble finding your classroom?”) Take turns coming up with suggestions.
What so you think it is like for most students your age to be starting school this year? Explain any good parts as well as not so good parts.
What are three suggestions you have that would help students get a good start in school this year?
What are two things you want to see happen this year at school?
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
- For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
- Use the blog for discussion topics
- Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
- For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
- Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
- Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
- Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
- What would be your advice on this topic?
- What was left out of this article?
- If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
- Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
- Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
- The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.