What it’s like to be an elementary school teacher – Part 7

A National Board Certified Teacher explains what an educator’s life is really like.  The series is a value-added collection of Best ClassAntics Posts EVER!  Each post explains something about a teacher’s life and links to ClassAntics posts with relevant teaching tips.

Part Seven: We teach kids how to learn

Teaching isn’t enough; education only happens when students makes a concerted effort to learn.  Most students benefit from lessons in how to teach themselves to learn new material.

In my experience, students feel truly empowered once they understand how to study and learn.  I have many tricks and tips for helping students learn how to acquire knowledge.

Teach memorization: before IQ tests, ability to memorize was an important indicator of intelligence.  I think that the two go hand in hand: memorizing builds intelligence, and intelligence makes memorizing easier.  My post on Memorization and Learning offers tips on teaching this important skill and ideas for what your students can memorize.

Teach kids how to remember, recall, and retrieve: memorized information is much more useful if you can call it up when you need it.  I learned a clever way of Teaching Kids to Access Memorized Information.  It helps students discover their own remembering style and learn how to harness their power of recall.

Teach vocabulary: there’s a reason the STAR Reading test uses vocabulary as a predictor of Accelerated Reader (AR) reading level—it works!   5 tips for teaching vocabulary give you ideas on building vocabulary skills during every lesson.

Take a break from trendy teaching: get to real learning with a time-honored technique—the lecture.  Done right, a lecture shows kids that they can acquire a great deal of knowledge by listening to someone who has already taken to the trouble to curate the content.  Lectures Can Be Good! gives ideas on how to harness the power of the lecture.  Check out The Great Courses for excellent examples of engaging lectures.  Click here for my post about The Great Courses.

Mnemonic devices: These time-honored tricks help kids learn everything from musical notes to planets.  Oh You Lucky Duck! for would, could and should is one of my favorites.

Make connections: the joy of learning deepens when we realize that everything we study is connected.  It’s so exciting to realize how complex the world is, and how the academic disciplines are not discrete at all.  Teach kids to make connections between their learning and their world with fun tips about how Making connections makes children smarter.

 Happy learning!


 

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