Thursday, May 8, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week again

Little kids learn by doing and playing is what they do best.  So it is obvious to me what kids should be doing....playing.  When you play, you learn.  Not only do you learn the lesson that is hidden in the fun but you also learn how to play with others.
One of the stations that was always open in my Kindergarten was Legos.  Now no student could play there every day because there were many stations open that included math and reading skills that had to be covered.  Legos was the place that kids learned teamwork and found out how to appreciate different skills from their own.  Every kid had a strength and working together helped others recognize it.
Older kids deserve to have fun.  I know it is more serious business once you get to first grade.( I know this because my son told me so when he was in first grade) but kids can still have fun and learn at the same time.
I tutored in a fourth grade after I retired in order to get kids ready for what was then called the Fourth Grade Proficiency Test.  We had fun.  I read to them once a week.  They practiced finding the main characters and anticipating what would happen next in a story.  I fed them candy and had them do word searches.  You see, while we were having fun, the students were building confidence and picking up skills they may have missed in class or didn't appreciate were for life, like sounding out words which fourth graders thought was a first grade thing so they shouldn't do it.  What a world opened up for them when they figured out they still could do it and it was okay.  Their reading skills soared.
They all passed every year I was there.
Why don't we let kids learn like kids?  I just  will never understand  why tests have been chosen over children.

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