Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Laura Ingalls Teaches the Lit Maven a Thing or Two....Creating a "Just Right" Classroom

Yesterday I tuned into an episode of LHOTP (Little House on the Prairie). As in most episodes there was an image of the one room school house. Generally smaller kids were in the front rows and bigger kids in the back. Kids were first sorted on size but instructed on their ability.

In the 21st Century...we sort by age.
For example: Six years old in grade one.
By sorting kids by age, the assumption seems to be, rather foolishly, that the kids are all the same in everyway. Teachers bang their heads on the wall and are astounded by this fact year, after year when the kids are reading at different levels.

Was it tough teaching in a one room school house. I guess. But at least the teacher met the kids where they were at and didn't have the illusion of "age" grades to deal with.

SO what does this mean...
I think it means a shift in thinking about how we group during the day. Perhaps flexible groupings, through the day, through the building. Teachers no longer teaching a "grade" but teaching children.

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

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