As summer winds down and Fall launch approaches, we are filled with a sense of renewed optimism. Our unwavering faith in our children, their dreams and what we believe they can achieve motivates us to provide an optimal learning environment. The instructional planning and preparation that we employ are critical to achieving our goals. With this in mind, we offer the following friendly tips:
Reflect on previous instructional experiences.
In order to make sound adjustments, it is critical to reflect on prior instructional practices. What went well? What didn’t go so well? When was my child fully engaged and interested? Should I employ more direct teaching or does my child thrive during independent learning time? Should I invest in more training in order to enhance my teaching skills? Addressing such questions are critical to our growth as instructional leaders in our homes.
Provide practical learning experiences.
Research tells us that learning is preserved when applied. In other words, providing children with opportunities to practice what they have learned increases the likelihood of the information being retained. For example, when studying plant life or the ecosystem, encouraging children to build and cultivate personal gardens is an effective way to employ a “live curriculum”.
Preparation is essential to delivering effective instruction. How well we organize our planning time greatly impacts our ability to deliver instruction, assess student progress and provide differentiated learning opportunities in response to what we have learned. Knowing what we need to teach, documenting how we plan on teaching it and archiving the information in such a way that it can be easily retrieved and used is a great first step.
Managing the “hangover” that we (and our children) often experience at the end of summer can be a daunting task. No one strategy can guarantee an easy “back to school” transition. However, early preparation is a great starting point. So dust off your teacher hat and let’s start planning!