Thursday, September 22, 2016

Teacher Talk Series: The Elementary Years - 4 Ideas To Help Students Succeed This Year

The "Wise Parents, Wise Kids" video chat between Janet Bonnin, Angela Woodrow and guest Karen Aitken, Veteran Elementary School Teacher, was really fun and filled with ideas!  You can see that by going here:

If you'd rather read about it, here are some highlights:

FTF:  As a fantastic veteran teacher, please share some ideas to help students become successful learners.
Karen Aitken:
1         Teach problem solving.  Being brilliant doesn’t mean you have memorized everything.  Instead, I emphasize how to use resources, such as notes they’ve taken, to find the answers.  It is not what you do for kids that make them successful; it is what you’ve trained them to do for themselves.
2        Practice organizational skills.  Create habits of self-awareness and self-sufficiency. Put some structure in the classroom (or home) of where things go – completed assignments, backpacks, etc.  The more organized a child is, the less stress a child feels, especially when time is tight.  The homework is not done until it is in your folder which is in your backpack.
3         Learn to be an Active Listener.  Help children create Active Listening habits by periodically checking in to ask what they have heard in their own words.  With encouragement and practice, kids can become an Active Listener, which is important to great communication. 
4         Take ownership of yourself.  Students are often used to someone doing things for them.  Instead, encourage them to show responsibility for their tasks, like getting homework done, without prompting. Being responsible for choices, actions and emotions at this young age are building blocks for success and confidence as they grow.  “Reader’s Theater Work Ethic Kits” help kids learn real life examples of grownups who don’t have good habits.

Resources for Parents and Teachers:

Parent Tip:  Create a place at home where your child keeps their backpack, jacket, lunchbox, shoes, etc.  This can help them learn to be organized by having a routine, and relieve the anxiety of panicking while looking for these items when they are trying to get ready for school.

Remember, parents and teachers are the significant adults in children’s lives.  When we have the expectation and verbalize that a child will be successful, the child rises to that level.