Month: April 2020

Remote Learning/Parenting/Teaching Resources

Below is a list of books/podcasts/articles/games and other resources that I think would be helpful to manage this unprecedented time in our lives as educators and parents. There are resources for educators and parents below. I gathered these resources from sites that I find helpful as an educator: Common Sense Media, Inquiry Partners, Ten Percent Happier, The Reading and Writing Project, Parent Map and more. Inquiry, Mindfulness, curiosity, and child development are key components to the resources below. 

Educator Resources for Remote Learning:

The Reading and Writing Project Micro Workshops

The Reading and Writing Project Padlets and Resources

Virtual and Remote Learning Opportunities for Education for Sustainability, Cloud Institute

What is the role of Inquiry during a global pandemic?

“Wide Open School is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense. There is so much good happening, and we are here to gather great stuff and organize it so teachers and families can easily find it and plan each day.

The Little Engine That Can

“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” 

John Dewey

In this time of remote learning, we are all adjusting to doing things differently. As experienced educators and as parents who are newly experiencing becoming teachers, the above statement from John Dewey could not be more important at this time. Many parents are finding themselves stressed out about teaching their child new content or a new way to solve a math problem. Experienced educators who are immersed in hands-on and inquiry-based learning practices are wondering how to teach new content through remote learning. Yikes! These are significant challenges. 

These challenges are also opportunities! Let’s remember that ‘doing” is how we truly learn! When I think back to my elementary school experiences, not much is memorable. However, I do remember the few times a teacher took what was considered back then ‘an out of the box’ approach and had us actually do something.

10 Tips for Parents Teaching Their Kids At Home

When our son, who is now almost 21, was 6 years old and struggling to learn to read in first grade, my husband turned to me and said, “You are a first grade teacher, can’t you teach him to read?!” It seems so simple. I should have been able to just teach him as an experienced educator myself. Yet, there is something different about teaching your own child. For 26 years, I worked with other people’s children and taught thousands of students to read, write and solve math problems. When it came to my own two children, I could not even help with homework without stress levels rising. As an educator and a Lower School Director, I counseled the families of the students I worked with to leave the school work and teaching to us. Let home life be enjoyable and fun for you and your child. Do not stress your relationship.

Poetry magnetizes both depth and the possible…

“Poetry magnetizes both depth and the possible. It offers widening of aperture and increase of reach… To step into a poem is to agree to risk. Writing takes down all protections, to see what steps forward. Poetry is a trick of language-legerdemain, in which the writer is both magician and audience. You reach your hand into the hat and surprise yourself with rabbit or memory, with odd verbs or slant rhymes or the flashing scarf of an image. This is true for discovering some newness of the emotions, and also true of ideas. Poems foment revolutions of being. Whatever the old order was, a poem will change it.”

-Jane Hirshfield, Psychology Today

Spring is in the air. We enjoy moments of sunshine and see the delicate pink and white blossoms on trees. We hear birds calling and feel warm breezes on our faces. This is the time of year that our young writers head out of their classrooms and into nature to be immersed in the writing of poetry.

What is your favorite reading memory?

What is your favorite reading memory? This is a question I often asked parents on Back-to-School Night, prompting them to think and write their reflections as a special gift to their child. When students arrived the next morning at school, they eagerly asked me to read their parents’ reflections. Their faces beamed with smiles as I read about the many warm memories related to books. 

Read to your child. As parents, we are told this from the time our children are born. Some of my favorite memories with my own children are our bedtime reading routines, from Goodnight Moon and Owl Babies to The Secret Garden and The Hunger Games. Some people think that once your children can read on their own that you do not need to read to them anymore. I believe that you should read to your children as long as they will allow it! It is one of the most impactful experiences you can give your child and yourself.