Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Tricia Kascak

Grade: 5

Location: Brookline, MA

Setting: Urban

Years Teaching: 5

How do you know when it's time to change your approach?

I know it's time to change direction when I see blank faces, or when a student says "I'm missing something," or "I don't get it." It means that I need to switch my approach. Often when I'm trying to teach a particular concept and I know that the students aren't getting it, I talk with some of the other adults in the room — I have a graduate student intern, and various other people coming in and out. We talk about what I wanted the students to get from the lesson, and what they actually got and understood. Often we do backwards planning — we decide that we need to follow up with a more hands-on approach, or that we need to clarify something. And sometimes we decide that the students really got it and we're ready to go to the next level.

What will be your "next move"?

I think that my challenge will always be to continually assess what I'm doing. What I think works well one year falls short the next. Also I'm leaning more towards hands-on discovery. I think it's very easy for teachers to set things up for children. It's much easier for me to come up with the questions. I want to step out of the picture as much as I can and have the students more in charge of their own learning. That's really difficult to do.

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