Duck into Third Grade

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Sensational Spring Break!!!

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I’ve had this book for some time yet it remained unread until our trip to Oregon to see our granddaughter. I hurriedly shoved books into my bag as we scooted out the door focused on getting to the airport on time. Yes, I should’ve packed the night before and put some thought into my book selections but WOW! Every book was SUPER! I’m thankful God guided my choices because each one gave information that I can use to meet the needs of my class!

Betty K. Garner gave many specific ways to help struggling students and I seem to have plenty this year. I’m excited to have something that might help them learn to connect the dots. My ten favorite take aways from the book:

Students process information and create meaning by:
1. making connections-LET THE STUDENTS bridge from the known to the unknown
2. finding patterns and relationships- all learning is based on relationships (something has meaning when compared or contrasted with something else,
3. identifying rules which are guides you can count on to be the same in most cases,
and 4. abstracting principles-(keeps kids from being overwhelmed) Example: Some things change and some things stay the same is a principle that must be understood so every piece of information is not new and different.

5. Questions to ask: What do you notice? What sense do you make of this? What does this mean to you?
6. Sometimes students confuse recognition with knowing. This explains why students confidently proclaim that something is ‘easy’ only to have the end results show a horse of a different color.
7. Imitation becomes limitation. (Does all the modeling we do limit kids?)
8. Take a few minutes each day for students to quietly reflect on a beautiful of positive thought. Provide an opportunity for them to write about or illustrate their beautiful thoughts.
9. What’s more important understanding or right answers? Some students think that grades are more important than understanding. The true level of understanding is evident in the kinds of questions students ask.
10. Use tic tac toe grid to teach spacial orientation.

I could go on and on but I will stop at 10. I’m hopeful that some of the information in this book will help light bulbs come on for my struggling learners.


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