Monday, January 26, 2015

Lessons Learned: Teaching My Kid

This year, I am lucky enough to have my own son in reading class. I teach at a tiny school, with only two fourth grades. My wonderful colleague teaches both math classes, and I teach both reading classes.

It's been great to have my son in my class, and not only because at least one person will get my Dr. Who references. Seeing fourth grade through his eyes really helps me to see what works and what needs to change.

I negotiated approval to post this photo. Talks
were tense at first.
Independent reading
I had better not skip it. Ever!!! Or I will hear about it at home.

Predictable homework
Watching my fourth grader become responsible is such a joy...and having a predictable homework routine in the classroom really facilitates this. I like it as both a teacher and a parent.

Another side to assessment
Last week, students took an assessment with a passage-based essay. At dinner, my son asked, "Did you write the story for our test today?"

"Yes," I replied cautiously, ready for fourth grade criticism.

"Well, I think that if you added more to the end of the story, the essay would be easier. Like tell us more about how Casey feels at the end."

Critiquing test items--how awesome!

Taking one of my students home each day really helps me to see how all the little classroom practices fit together. It makes the pathway toward summer a little bittersweet, as I realize how soon he will be off to fifth grade. Luckily, the lessons I learn from him will last.

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