SWR and You Column, July 14, 2011

Don’t be afraid to alter your lesson plan.  If you observe students struggling, regroup.  Revise your plan.  Flexibility is a hallmark of both homeschools and classrooms.

Using “spiral teaching,” Spell to Write and Read is sequential.  Lessons build on prior instruction: present new concepts, review previous knowledge.  Step 1 calls this “teaching from the known to the unknown”.  As you teach SWR, you learn more and discover its extraordinary depth.

Take Step 11, Determine Placement in the Wise Guide.  Here Wanda Sanseri discusses the ‘art of teaching’.  It develops through the process of instructing others.

On page 67, Wanda describes an inner-city high school English class.  Noticing her students struggled even being in her reading class, she sensitively departed from her original lesson plan, thereby earning their trust.

Instead of forcing conformity, she taught three multisyllabic words above grade level, assigning students to teach them to peers.  Wanda carefully chose the words, knowing her students’ friends did not know them.  As her pupils completed the exercise, their success created interest in learning more.

Though you must establish clearly defined standards, listen to your students with more than your ears.  Your course corrections improve discernment. Students sense your willingness to adjust, and respond.  Training becomes efficient and learning rewarding, the Art of Teaching in action.  Enjoy it!

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