Instruction

Learning As Action

Students in Middle School are learning about their connection to the world.  Events take place around them, or to them, and understanding that they have control over these forces is new.  In my 5-6th grade class, we try to leverage this desire to connect whenever we can.  We use it in Social Studies for students…

One Solar System, Many kinds of Learning

This year, our whole school instructional theme is circles, and this month all class levels have been studying the circles of Solar System in science.   Each class is doing some research, making a model of some form, and learning facts about the solar system’s objects and their movement, each in a developmentally appropriate way. In…

Research

My second grade students have been recently introduced to the concept of research, and began a preliminary process in both Writing and Science last week.  In Writing, students are writing non-fiction information texts, or “All-About” books.  In order to learn more about their topic, students have borrowed books from our classroom library and I have…

Problem Solving

Our social-emotional curriculum, Second Step, teaches students about a series of steps (using the acronym S.T.E.P.) for solving problems (whether they be interpersonal, personal, or group problems).  I have found that, after explicitly teaching about each of the steps, using these steps with the class has been helpful in solving problems together.  With enough practice…

Pebble, Rock, Boulder

Problems arise in any classroom and part of my job is helping kids learn to deal with them. In an effort to establish some common language within our classroom surrounding problem-solving, I have begun to identify the size of a problem as “pebble,” “rock,” or “boulder.” Pebble problems can be solved on one’s own. Rock…