High Expectations

Every Child, Every Day!

What Do High Expectations Mean for Me?

- Kids need to have high expectations of themselves.

Every one of my kids needs to put forth his best effort! Some kids' bests are A's, others are C's. Some will grow from level ones to level threes others will need to maintain 99th percentiles. However, each students needs to be challenging himself. I expect my students to strive for mastery. It will take some students four times of reteaching to understand a concept, but neither of us can give up on that goal.

-I have high expectations for me!

I know that I can grow kids significantly. It is unacceptable for me to be anything less than my best. That means I cannot give up on any of my children.

How Do I Connect Learning Across the Content Areas?

Fortunately for me, I have taught, student taught, or assistant taught every subject in grades 1-5, 7th grade ELA, and I was certified to teach High School Social Students. So, I have a broad understanding of how my content specifically connects to other contents (past you need to read to access information). For example, latin roots can often be connected to math (sub=below, so subtraction means making a number go lower or fract=break, so a fraction breaks a number). I also make comparisons of how they need to attack multistep ELA questions (i.e. What quote supports the theme in the passage) in the same way they need to attack a multistep math problem. First, students would need to identify the theme, THEN they can analyze what quote supports it. This is just like if you are solving to find a missing angle in geometry and you need to first identify the [complementary/supplementary/vertical/etc] angle. In my opinion, there is a similar process of thinking between a lot of language arts and math. A lot of writing connects to social studies. Allusions are also constantly made to historical figures. When Mr. Wright was teaching my students about Gandhi, Gandhi's name was referenced repeatedly in our novel, Warriors Don't Cry. Two years ago I also made my sentence correction warm ups sentences about things they were studying in math, science, and social studies. My students also completed research papers on wars they studied in Mr. Wright's class. It is more of a challenge to connect with things that they are actively learning about in their other subjects this year because we are not in teams, but it is still possible. I try to peek during homeroom at their work from other classes.

Which Instructional Strategies?

Kafele says, "to ascertain which instructional strategies work best with each of your students, you must first and foremost know your students" (39). At the beginning of the year I do learning modality quizzes to see how my students learn best. This year, the majority of my students are visual learners. Very few are auditory learners. If I were to stand in front of the room and explain something, maybe 15% would truly hear me. My students need to be actively engaged. At the least, they need to be copying notes of what I am saying. However, obtaining direct instruction through activities like playposit videos or projects where I can interact with them while they are working are much more effective for my students. When they are physically doing, they are learning. Listening to me speak does not accomplish anything for my students. Today's students are inundated with technology, so they are not interested by lectures like we grew up with. Two and three years ago, I had students that LOVED Socratic Seminar and discussion. My current students from this year and last year were much more introverted and don't appreciate learning through discussion.