A crash course in teaching…

is totally what I got today at Abia Judd. I was with 3 different 4th graders going over vocabulary including context clues. The one side of the worksheet was straightforward (choose the correct word from the list given) using definitions and sentences. The other side was a brief passage that included the vocabulary and asked what context clues were given.

I had a few different challenges to face. First and foremost was a kid with ADD who hadn’t taken his medication. I knew a boy like that when I was younger, and I had really forgotten what it can look like. He wasn’t loud or anything but constantly fidgety. Another challenge was looking over the material for the first time myself. While the kids were finishing their worksheets, I did the work as well.

There were a few different things I tried to achieve: not only getting the right answer but to make sure they actually understood what they were doing. All of the definitions were given in the questions so substitution came in handy, especially when more than one definition was a choice. For example, does it make sense to say, “Just beneath the to rise up of the water, he saw…?” No, but “Just beneath the top of the water” does.

There were three examples where the context clue was the definition itself as a single word. I had the kids find the word that meant enchanted (delightful), flexible (bending), and absorb (learn).

I found that I repeated myself a lot. The students liked the individual attention so I pretty much asked every question three times. Some even multiple times, and I tried to guide them to the correct answer. Even the kid with ADD was excited when he figured it out.

I’m not sure how helpful I was to them, but it was helpful to me.

By sending students out into the hall with me, it’s one way that Mrs. Yeager is able to deal with diversity. In this instance and others that I’ve faced it’s been because of learning disabilities. Those who are slower or prone to distraction, get special focused attention. If it were my classroom, and I didn’t have the option to separate students, I’m not really sure what I would do. I’d probably have the fidgety boy standing or pacing. Maybe even working on something at the board. It’s a tricky situation that takes time to analyze and assess what will work.



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