Making School Connections – Teacher’s Corner


Teacher’s Corner
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.
The following are writing prompts and discussion topics you can use to let your students think about making connections at school.
  1. Imagine that you were having a get-to-know-you meeting with your teacher. He or she will want to here all about your favorite things – what you are interested in, what you are good at, and what you enjoy doing when you are not in school. What would you tell your teacher. Be sure to explain how you show you are interested in certain things and how you know you are good at something,
  2. Can you think of any ways that reading, mathematics, or science is connected to any of your interests and talents? For example, are numbers connected to things you like doing? Or, would you enjoy reading about things you are interested in?
  3. Imagine that you asked a friend whether she thought her teacher liked her. Her answer was, “I don’t know. How would I be able to tell?” What would you say back to her? What are three ways you think she could tell if her teacher liked her?
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.