Monday, September 1, 2014

We built four picnic tables for our school
In nursery school, math is called cooking, building or drawing. Science is called gardening, exploring or playing on the yard (finding bugs and figuring out what they do is a specialty). What happened between nursery school and first grade that made us forget this? Why is it so critical for a first grader to learn "math" as a stand-alone subject? What happened to building?

I love this quote from Shira Loewenstein's blog post entitled Does Spelling Count? Mrs. Germann, one of our assistant principal's, shared this article with the faculty and staff recently. 

Dr. H and fourth grade students
The above quote caught my eye, because it is a known fact that as students progress through their educational careers, they become less creative and less playful with their learning. It is critical to the future of our students that they see the meaning and purpose for their learning. That does not mean that the purpose is so that I can do math when I grow up or get a job, but because I need math, science, social studies, spelling, etc... to create this really neat project that is going to help improve my school, community, class, etc...

Loewenstein goes on to say, "What if we were to eliminate subjects? What if we said there was no more 'spelling" or "writing" or "math," and we just had "school'?"

I have wondered this myself. How much more fun would school be if students came to school to write, calculate, investigate, research, read, discuss, present, and debate concepts and ideas that were beneficial to them and their community. We have plenty of problems that need to be solved, jobs that need to be done, projects that need to be completed at our school that our boys and girls should stay busy with these days. The role of the teacher is to facilitate these activities so that the boys and girls are exposed to and learn concepts and skills that will help them meet the standards set for them at each grade level.

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