A final wrap up of the First Level series, three ideas from the archives that fit perfectly with setting up a long term goal in the first weeks of school.
Here are articles that I think work nicely in the beginning of a school year!
Do you know what your kids’ goals are beyond grades? Take a few minutes to delve into their lives outside of the classroom.
As silly as it may sound, providing sentence stems or “fill in the blanks” can give your kids the scaffold they need to achieve a higher level of success.
One “first level” teachers must carefully prepare is the physical classroom layout.
As a 6th grade teacher, I would see students give up just as things became difficult. Because of their natural intelligence, they could succeed without putting in the work that their peers were learning to do. So I introduced a motto.
Using Hilda Taba’s model of inductive thinking, use your students’ prior knowledge to develop a statement about expected class behavior.
Ask your students to write about their summer breaks, but remix their activities into a new genre or setting. Perhaps they vacationed at Hogwarts, Mordor, or Tatooine? Not interested in a writing assignment?
Imagine that we all share a common resource, but no one is really in charge. How do we maintain order without an authority? This is a fantastically fuzzy situation for students to dig into.
We’re supposed to rank fifteen items according to usefulness if we were stranded on the light-side of the moon. The items range from pistols to powdered milk. Some seem useful, but are actually worthless while others seem unnecessary on earth, but are actually vital when stuck on the moon. However, the structure of the activity as a website is not optimal. Let’s improve this and make it an awesome problem–solving exercise for our class.
Generalizations, big ideas, abstractions, universal themes… they are designed to help our gifted students learn. However, what I didn’t realize was that they would help me teach!