S. T. Fleming

Language. Education. Literacy. Creation.

Archive for the tag “Education”

Unfair to Learn?

Is it unfair to learn?

As I teach my classes, four sections of the same grade level content, I become a better teacher-  I notice the mistakes that the previous class made;  I understand their misunderstandings; I see the gaps in my teaching.  I learn.  That being said, class #4 receives all of my learning from the previous three classes and produces higher quality work.  They may even receive, on average, higher grades (I will check to see if this last item is true).

Is this unfair for class #1?  Is it unfair that the teaching they receive, because they receive it first, will always be a little less complete and polished?  Is this like asking if it is unfair for the first child in a family to have to train the parents?

Now, I return to weave the threads of learning for that first class, perhaps with colors not as bright but beautiful nonetheless.

The Hero’s Journey

Follow up the video by reading the book: The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

También puedes leer el libro en español: El héroe de las mil caras.

Recursos en español/ Spanish Resources

Here is a list of resources that I have been compiling over the years.  Most of them are links to texts and curriculum from all over Latin America.  Enjoy!

Son antologías que se usan en países de habla hispana de primer grado a 6to grado

 

Main Idea Videos

Testing

After breakfast a
tall, clear glass
of snow-white milk
rested outside.

The hot summer sun
sizzles my skin and
cooks the milk.

Thirsty, I …
Blech! Yuck! Plephtshw!

Sick in Bed

a four-legged horse
with a very flat back
carried cereal and milk
which Jack will attack

with his sword and a slurp
he’ll devour his prey
this banquet for kings
will return him to play

My School, My Teacher

I hate it on the playground
when someone’s on the swing.
I wait and wait and wait my turn
but hear the lunch-bell ring.

I love it, though, in springtime
and my teacher I adore
when recess isn’t over
and she gives ten minutes more.

I hate it in the classroom
when we’re sitting down to write
and Rob blames me for punching Pete.
Teach’ knows I never fight.

I love ‘em, though, the stories
of future, present, past.
I wish those times of wonder
Could last and last and last

(Ending 1)
My school is like kitchen and
my teacher’s like a mother-
serving up the Lima beans
with cookies like no other.

(Ending 2)
My school is like a woodshop and
my teacher’s like a dad-
sanding imperfections of
rough edges that I had.

On the Threshold

From Beauty Is an Edge of Becoming by Krista Tippett and John O’Donohue:

“If you go back to the etymology of the word ‘threshold,’ it comes from ‘threshing,’ which is to separate the grain from the husk. So the threshold, in a way, is a place where you move into more critical and challenging and worthy fullness. There are huge thresholds in every life. You know that, for instance, if you are in the middle of your life in a busy evening, fifty things to do and you get a phone call that somebody you love is suddenly dying, it takes ten seconds to communicate that information. But when you put the phone down, you are already standing in a different world. Suddenly everything that seems so important before is all gone and now you are thinking of this. So the given world that we think is there and the solid ground we are on is so tentative. And a threshold is a line which separates two territories of spirit, and very often how we cross is the key thing.”

And where is beauty in that?
“Where beauty is — beauty isn’t all about just niceness, loveliness. Beauty is about more rounded substantial becoming. And when we cross a new threshold worthily, what we do is we heal the patterns of repetition that were in us that had us caught somewhere. So I think beauty in that sense is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth, and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life.”

Beautiful!

For more, you can read Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’Donohue.

Ways to End an Opinion Paragraph

Now it is time for the first graders- How do you end an opinion paragraph?  Here I offer three possibilities.

  1. Just Say It
    Dogs are the best pet.
    Vanilla is the tastiest flavor ever!
    Minnesota will be the best state you ever visited!
  2. Simple Summary Statement
    That’s why dogs are the best pet.
    Clearly vanilla is the tastiest flavor ever.
    For these reasons, Minnesota is finest of all the 50 states.
  3. Act! Do! Go! Try!
    Go get a dog!  You will see how great a pet they are!
    So try vanilla ice cream and you will see that it is the best flavor you have ever tried!
    Are you going to go to Minnesota? Yes!  You will love the lakes and trees and snow.

Ways to Start a Story

One of my 4th graders asked me for ideas on how to start a story.  We had a great conversation and looked at some wonderful examples.  Here is what we ended up with:

Ways to Start a Story

  1. Traditional

Once upon a time there was…

  1. Dialogue (people talking)

“Mom! Help me! I can’t…” I shouted to my mom as I fell out of the tree.
———————-
“But you promised to take me to the movies today! You promised! You promised! You promised!” I started crying.

  1. Action (something is happening)

My brother slammed the door just as the rain started. This time he did not get caught in the rain. This time he did not get struck by the lightning.
———————-
I watched from behind the bookshelf as the thief snuck into the living room and opened the top drawer of the desk. He did not know I was there.

     4a.    Description (what does the setting look like? sound like?)

The spring flowers bloomed and the honeybees buzzed along the banks of the river. The sleepy town woke up to the sounds of the roaring river flowing down from the dark mountains. Something floated in the water, trapped by an old tree branch.

     4b.    Description (what does the character(s) look like?)

Jaime was only 4 feet, 2 inches tall but he was the best goalie the team had ever had. He could jump higher than kids who were 5 feet tall. But he never bragged about it. He did not have to.

 

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