The Time is Now

​​​​In a new book called Stop. Right. Now.: 39 Stops to Making School Better by Jimmy Casas and Jeffrey Zoul it says, “The most effective way to ensure kids are prepared for the next level is to prepare them thoroughly at their current level.”  I agree completely with this statement.  At a time when we are encouraged to move faster and get farther, we need to slow down and look at what is really best for our students.  A huge part of this is to stop teaching outside of our scope under the guise of readiness.  For example, kindergarten readiness does not mean pushing four year-olds to perform at a kindergarten level.  True preparation is spending the necessary time on building and reinforcing a strong foundation.

 

I often coach overwhelmed, stressed teachers who struggle with too much curriculum and not enough time.  We usually start by digging deeper into the teacher’s schedule, planning habits, and resource management.  Almost every time, the teacher discovers that she is spending valuable time on concepts and skills that are not part of the grade level scope, resulting in less time being spent on what is crucial  for current development.  The TEKS or state standards can guide teachers in narrowing their focus to what is most important.  Quality instructional design begins with a complete understanding of these expectations.  With only a limited amount of instructional time, it is our responsibility to ensure our students are secure in what they need to know and be able to do at the present time.  Gaps begin to form when we start to focus too much on what is needed next year.  Deep conceptual understanding results from time spent on intentional and appropriate learning experiences. 

 

If we spend our time on what is most important now, our students will be equipped with the tools they will need in the future.

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Training Spotlight

1st-3rd grade educators worked together to learn engaging ways to develop number sense. Students will develop fact fluency while playing games that use their number sense strategies. By learning their facts in this way, students are not merely memorizing, but rather learning to work with numbers flexibly.  “Low achievers are often low achievers not because they know less but because they don’t use numbers flexibly – they have been set on the wrong path, often from an early age, of trying to memorize methods instead of interacting with numbers flexibly.” Jo Boaler,  Stanford University, 2009

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April 8, 2019

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