Teaching 10-20 yrs. ago vs. Now - ProTeacher Community





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Teaching 10-20 yrs. ago vs. Now
Old 03-10-2012, 09:53 PM
 
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This is a question for those veteran teachers, or whoever:

My college classes (within the last 3 yrs) preached how they were teaching us how to be more creative in the classroom. That the word "hands on" did not just mean give students arts and crafts projects; rather it had meaning behind it. That teaching in the classroom 10-20 yrs ago was considered traditional---no creativity, no challenge---no higher learning.

However, I come across the boards and see many of these comments " teaching is not what it used to be. It has sucked the creativity."

I'm just curious as to which seems more accurate. I understand that it is different for every person. I like the innovative 5 -e lesson plan that promotes higher level thinking, however, I feel that sometimes the short and sweet lesson becomes more effective and stays with the students more...the more fluff, the less they retain. I don't know, that's just my opinion.


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for me
Old 03-10-2012, 11:12 PM
 
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current teaching seems less hands on. I used lots of manipulatives in the classroom to explore math concepts before the students did paper and pencil work. Today, I mostly see workbooks and test prep materials.
For science,we went out on the playground and traced shadows to see the changes in height at different times in relation to the sun; the students held models of the planets and went out varying distances from the central "sun" to feel the solar system,etc.

My reading program was science driven as I provided a variety of leveled readers to support the science curriculum rather then following the scripted anthology TE which related to nothing else we were studying.

I see far less freedom to create materials to help a particular class (or few students) understand a concept that proves difficult. I see teachers held to being on a certain page by a particular date regardless of student
understanding.

There is an increasing gap between teaching and learning. I can teach many topics and concepts, but can/do the students learn them? Mushing ahead regardless of class progress does not foster learning.

While I'm on my soapbox: In the "olden days" we were in education to create an informed electorate who could make reasoned choices to foster democracy. Today it's all about training workers. Feels rather totalitarian.
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I started teaching
Old 03-10-2012, 11:26 PM
 
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over 20 years ago, and using a hands-on method for any instruction has never meant

Quote:
give students arts and crafts projects
Good grief! Hands on usually indicated using manipulatives or a project type instruction which engaged students rather than students listening to lecture.

Any type of creativity that I might have in the classroom does not extend to fluff and/or arts and craft projects. I do believe, however, that a teacher may show creativity in getting a lesson across to students using hands on methods.

I believe using manipulatives especially in math for younger students is imperative. For older students, many math concepts are more successfully learned when a project is involved; such as learning more about money when figuring out how much a meal will cost by using grocery fliers.

It is disappointing to hear that your college classes are making blanket statements like this
Quote:
That teaching in the classroom 10-20 yrs ago was considered traditional---no creativity, no challenge---no higher learning.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:07 AM
 
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I have taught for about 12 years. I would say there is more stringent data analysis now. I would also say the curriculum is what you make of it as well as how much your administration dictates things.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:46 AM
 
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Today, it's all about the TEST. We test and assess more than we teach. Poor kids.


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Old 03-11-2012, 04:02 AM
 
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I think teaching is far less creative now! It's one of the reasons I've stayed with subbing, and have not gone back for a second degree to get my own classroom. The lists of things you have to do, and the lists of things you can't do are both just so much longer today. - There's no room to tailor your curriculum to your class. And if I'm going to teach someone else's curriculum anyway, I may as well not deal with the parents or the paperwork. I agree with what others have said that we absolutely overtest, and the pacing guides are ridiculous.
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Professional Development
Old 03-11-2012, 04:20 AM
 
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Professional Development when I started 15 years ago-(finished student teaching spring of 1997) (But started college almost 20 years-fall of 92)


Then:
Box It Bag It Math
Four Block Reading
Second Step
Safe Schools


Now:
Data
Technology
Standards sometimes seem to be at least 2 grade levels above developmental levels and I never question why the children are frustrated.
We are now tracking them at kindergarten instead of giving them time to develop.



*My opinion-Coloring, themes, holiday projects, construction paper, are frowned upon now more than 10 to 20 years ago. Fun centers to build social skills are frowned upon now more than 10 to 20 years ago. IT IS ALL ABOUT INSTRUCTIONAL TIME. We are not giving these kids a childhood. They work 10 to 20 times harder than I did when I was in school. Too much emphasis on state testing. It is a sad state of affairs.*

Last edited by OK4NOW; 03-11-2012 at 02:24 PM.. Reason: mispelled word & to add my opinion
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:42 AM
 
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This is my 16th year teaching. The main differences I can see from when I first started are that back then testing wasn't the be-all, end-all, and teachers had more freedom to implement lessons the way they wanted. I think this is what many people mean when they say the creativity has been sucked out of teaching. In the 90's, we followed the state curriculum but each teacher could implement it however he or she felt best, using a variety of activities. Often these were (gasp!) FUN activities, although students were learning at the same time. Now a lot of lessons are scripted or admin wants every teacher to be doing the same thing at the same time. When I first started, there was no emphasis at all on test scores or data. We all know how that has changed.

I agree 100% with OK4NOW - kids don't get to have a childhood anymore!
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20+ years ago
Old 03-11-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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I agree with hands-on was never unrelated crafts. Every hands-on was theme related and often was included as a multi-mode activity. We were introduced to modes of learning and including many parts to the concept, not just lecture. Theme based units with various styles of learning activities with a goal of mastery was the popular style when I was trained.
I resent the arts & crafts comment. (I know it's not your comment.) They are important, as well. But that is not the only way I was taught.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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The replacement of academics for "arts and crafts" comes at a price. Fine motor skills are not as developed as they used to be. Handwriting and coloring is more of an issue because many kiddos don't have adequate hand strength. This year I had to give scissor lessons to my 2nd graders. Many were holding it upside down and more than usual weren't cutting on the line.

And then there's the social aspect. Kindergarten used to be about getting along with others, knowing how to share, learning how to listen, learning how to play a game - not any more. I spend more time than I should playing referee to kids who who lack those basic skills. And playing catch up for some those skills cuts into my academic time.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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I have been teaching for only 6 years. We had 2 retired teachers that always volunteered to come in and do lessons.
I KNOW that they would not survive in today's teaching world.

What I noticed from them ( I KNOW this is not all teachers from 20-30 yrs ago. Just saying what I noticed):

-Lack of true objectives (went off on tangents constantly)

-Games and crafts that were related but did NOT help students really learn anything (example a lesson about Life Cycles- made a pipe cleaner butterfly)

We have a K teacher who is like this. Lots of glitter and construction paper, and she consistantly has students well below grade level when they start 1st.

I remember projects I did as a child (in the early 90s) that were LAME now that I think about it. Fun, but lame. I remember reading the Cricket in Time Square, and spending weeks working on a project where we had to make a cricket house. Basically, a doll house. I can also remember lots of barely related food projects.
In 5th grade we put on an end of the year variety type show. For the last 2 months of school, EVERY afternoon all the did was rehearse. Our desks were pushed around the perimeter of the room for pretty much all of May and June, so there was room to practice in the middle.

It was fun, but very fluffy!


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Old 03-11-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Handwriting and coloring is more of an issue
These are not real world skills anymore. No offense...Who cares if they can't color or have sloppy handwriting?!

I do think that you are right about the social aspect of things, however. Students could certainly use more free play.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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My dh works in a scientific field. He is constantly complaining that the new recruits (all from major universities) lack the ability to think and problem solve. They can do things if they are told step by step what to do, but they can't think past that.

Hot4teachr said
Quote:
I remember projects I did as a child (in the early 90s) that were LAME now that I think about it. Fun, but lame.I remember reading the Cricket in Time Square, and spending weeks working on a project where we had to make a cricket house. Basically, a doll house. I can also remember lots of barely related food projects.
In 5th grade we put on an end of the year variety type show. For the last 2 months of school, EVERY afternoon all the did was rehearse. Our desks were pushed around the perimeter of the room for pretty much all of May and June, so there was room to practice in the middle.

It was fun, but very fluffy!
I think that these projects are some of the ones that allow children to develop their creativity and problem solving abilities. They may not have had direct academic correlation to anything that can be tested well, but they give students chances to work things out and develop their strategies and problem solving skills. Those plays that were so important to us when we were young (those are the things I remember) give children whose academic abilities might not be on par with the "smart" students a chance to engage and shine. That is just as important as the ability to pass tests. It may be the only thing that holds them in school at some point. I think the plays also are prime activities for fun and those important social skills that children so seem to be lacking lately.

Many of the projects assigned today have rubrics that so tightly control the content of the project that children can't step outside of the norm and do any real thinking. They just have to regurgitate information that we need them to remember.
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Today vs. Yesterday
Old 03-11-2012, 08:44 AM
 
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Twenty years ago students listened better.
Twenty years ago students were more attentive & had a longer attention span.
Twenty years ago more students read for fun after school.
Twenty years ago more students did their homework.
Twenty years ago parents supported their child's education better.(helped them learn their math facts, read with them each night...)

Today students contribute more during class discussions.
Today students can give a presentation or speech in class more easily. (they get less nervous and do a better job)
Students have more experience with after school activities for learning.
Students today are better with technology than their old teachers.

In my opinion a good teacher adapts her lessons to fit the needs of her students. However, I will say that parents need to do their part as their child's first and number one teacher. Trying to fill the gap for parents who do not help their child learn at home, is almost impossible.

Just my opinion after 21 years of teaching in public school.
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Insisting that all
Old 03-11-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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kids meet the same objective at the same time on the same day regardless of age, development appropriateness, etc. is the name of the game these days. If they don't, they must be given interventions.

Another change is to reteach concepts after testing.

Use of a pacing guide to cram all those objectives in before state testing.

No more holiday "parties" or crafts--must be linked to an objective.

Kids these days are NEVER retained--just promoted with interventions.

No more fun.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:56 AM
 
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Quote:
No offense...Who cares if they can't color or have sloppy handwriting?!
Coloring I can maybe agree with, but I can't agree that we shouldn't be concerned about sloppy handwriting. Yes, I know that more and more of our daily "writing" is or can be done on a computer. I still think students need to know how to write neatly and properly. If handwriting is so sloppy that no one can read it, that's a real problem. I don't know about other states, but in mine our year-end testing has short answer questions students have to actually write to answer. If the scorer can't read a child's handwriting, that's an automatic zero. I also feel legible handwriting is a life skill. Not everyone will have access to a computer for every activity that requires writing. I think it would be a sad day if no one knew how to write with a pencil or pen because they could type everything. We are losing many of our basic skills.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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Quote:
These are not real world skills anymore. No offense...Who cares if they can't color or have sloppy handwriting?!
Handwriting is huge, as it allows students to think as they write. Typing on the keyboard, one has to do it in a very rapid manner, where as handwriting a slower task. The methodology of writing things out, thinking through things, developing problem solving techniques, allows me to produce some of the best proposals.

Oddly enough good hand writing seems to bring in the dough! One of the applications I recently submitted for $50,000, was to be written by hand. As the application, went to an international foundation, the issue was not all people had access to a computer.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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"Hands-on" doesn't mean just doing crafts, as others have correctly explained.

I've taught for well over 20 years. Recent years have brought about changes that suck the creativity out of our jobs, things that others have mentioned - test prep, testing, RTI, etc...and don't forget the new national core curriculum and teaching the mandated programs with fidelity. Teachers and students alike are becoming robots.

It's this, more than anything, that will lead me to retire. I miss the flexibility I used to have to be creative and make my own wise decisions about what my students needed. And I never spent hours upon hours doing arts and crafts or rehearsing for a play. Arts and dramatics were included as part of a balanced educational program, but given appropriate amounts of time.

My final comment is to agree with Cats, that legible handwriting is most certainly a life skill and a necessity in the classroom.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:31 AM
 
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Sorry if I came off snarky.

I do agree that LEGIBLE handwriting is needed, but hours of copying and handwriting worksheets seems pointless to me. I know a K teacher that give sooo many color sheets AND is a stickler for "completely in the lines." Bugs me. Thats all.

And I am NOT saying that EVERY crafty activity is a waste. I just don't care for cutesy stuff sometimes. Things that don't really teach, but look good to parents. It seems that in many (DEF NOT ALL) schools, there was a fair amount of that. Not as much anymore.

And hand-on things with value are great. We are required to do lots of hands on for math (manipulative and such).
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:04 AM
 
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Just to clear things- I'm not stringent about coloring or handwriting. It was just an observation about lack of hand strength. I'm required to teach cursive and after a few minutes (not hours and hours) kids start complaining that their hands hurt.

As for coloring, I guess I'm thinking about the illustrations that go along with writing stories. It's not a huge part of our day by any means but it does enhance their writing. Paying attention to detail is also a life skill that many employers like to see.

Like all things, there should be a balance.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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I completely agree with kahluablast. I am allowed to do things that would be considered 'fluff' by those who make up the requirements now days, but the kids are learning to think.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:46 PM
 
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I have always said I could have never left the classroom I started out in 1997 but I could leave my classroom in 2012 in a heartbeat. (If you knew how attached I once was that is a big statement for me)

I sometimes say the students or kids I work with now have become standardized instead of individualized.

Teacher evaulations are moving to students standardized scores but so many other factors go into teacher performance and a student's success.

That's why I could leave public education now and wouldn't have thought of 15 to 20 years ago.

Sometimes wish I would have went into a different profession, but would have missed out on a lot of opportunities especially getting to know the "little now big ones" along the way.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:08 PM
 
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I started teaching 19 years ago, and I have always been in Kentucky. When I was first taking my college courses in education, Kentucky "reformed" education, so we were on the forefront of "high stakes testing & accountability" back then. So, now doesn't seem much different from then in my perspective.

I did "hands-on" stuff then, and I do it now, too.
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Interesting point missed
Old 03-11-2012, 01:26 PM
 
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In this interesting discussion of the importance of coloring and handwriting, I am compelled to add insight. There are distinctive connections to fine motor writing skills and thinking skills. There are specific faculties of the brain that are under stimulated for potential development when we spend less time refining fine motor skills. This includes cutting and threading activities.
This is based on recent research and is by no means an indication that we are totally ruining our children. Just an observation that objectives for growth and development need to be carefully considered when we plan curriculum.
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Reality of teaching
Old 03-11-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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Education is a second career for me. I have been in it for about 12 years now. It has changed a lot in 12 years. The biggest change is about the gathering of data, data, data. We are overwhelmed with data and the ways we are to use it. In many ways the creativity has been sucked out of us, the teachers, because we have to gather data, analyze data, record data, apply data. Although some of the data gathering, (I am thinking particularly of formative assessment,) is useful, much of it would not hold up under a sort of "cost-benefit analysis". I am thinking now of the MAP testing done 3x/year, state testing, biweekly RtI testing. I feel that teacher morale is low, in part, because we feel if we take too much time for "fun" our kids will not do well in the next data-gathering. My curriculum plate is abundantly FULL and there are no opportunities to remove anything from it.
I agree that the hands-on means manipulatives and other projects, not necessarily fluff, but I miss the fluff! I am in serious need of some fluff!
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:19 PM
 
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I have taught for 20 years, and I can definitely say that teaching is far less hands-on than it used to be. I was taught that the child would have better comprehension of a concept if we used a hands-on model to teach it. I, myself, remember many of the lessons I had as a child because we had some sort of hands-on activity to go with it. I have a hard time believing that college professors are saying the more fluff, the less they retain.
I still try to put hands-on things into my lessons when I can, but there is so little time. I guess hands-on has been replaced by Promethean activities, and my kids do benefit from those, but I think we need to go back to the more creative way to learn. That's what kids are missing now.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:02 PM
 
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I think what is missing now is connections. Years ago we would teach a unit on Hawaii and learn landforms, and make maps of islands to practice mapping skills. We would dress up and take pictures in Hawaiian outfits and make them in to postcards to write to our parents. The activities, music and visuals all led to some great writing activities. And we would have fun doing it. Now that is considered fluff. Now we give them a prompt and expect good writing with no background or motivation. It makes me sad.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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Our overall performance is directly linked to how well our students test, but we're expected to do a lot of hands-on activities relating to the objectives we're teaching. I think it's important to use manipulatives in math (even in the older grades). Worksheets are discouraged unless it's leading up to the few weeks before our state assessment. I think it depends on the school and/or district.

[QUOTE]
Quote:
[These are not real world skills anymore. No offense...Who cares if they can't color or have sloppy handwriting?! /QUOTE]
I disagree about the handwriting. In our state, students are required to write a personal narrative and expository essay in 4th grade. Handwriting has been a definite problem. It needs to be legible and within the lines. If it's too difficult to read, it's unscorable.
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to the OP
Old 03-12-2012, 10:39 AM
 
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This is an interesting topic, and as you can see from the replies, most teachers feel/know that education 20 years ago was very different and more creative than it is now. There was such a thing as "developmental" education where they allowed a child to learn at his/her speed without all the stresses related to constant testing. In that time it was not all about data, scores and accountability for teachers.

Regarding creativity, I think that you have posted your question on a board that has a lot of teachers who are interested in improving and creating a better learning experience despite the obstacles of our current educational model. These are passionate people who know that what is going on right now is not going to make our students smarter, and will certainly do the opposite by narrowing the curriculum. These people are constantly looking for solutions beyond our RtT requirements. You will not find a more creative bunch than the PT members. Whether they are allowed to apply their creativity is another matter, and in most cases it is a big NO.
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Yup!!
Old 03-12-2012, 11:32 AM
 
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OK4NOW, you said it best! Totally agree. Children don't have a childhood anymore.
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What I see...
Old 03-12-2012, 01:31 PM
 
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Kids don't draw or color carefully anymore(at least it seems like there are more of them that don't). How many kids do you think have a coloring book that they color in at home. I'm not saying it's something everyone should do, but it does have its merits. Kids scribble to get a drawing assignment done. I do a drawing activity at the beginning of the year where they draw a head... that is attached to a neck...which is attached to shoulders...etc.

When I asked a morning question: "What's your family's (or your) favorite board game 13 out of 16 said they didn't play or own board games. They did ask if computer games counted. I will say the computer and tv are a battle in my own house as well. The grumbling and whining that goes on when they're told to turn it off! Yikes!

I think that teachers did put a lot of thought into their curriculum 20 years ago and tried to make it meaningful to their students. I also feel that coloring and cutting things out does have a place in the classroom, but it shouldn't be overdone. There is a balance in everything. You can't and shouldn't swing so far in one direction or the other.

My kids have retained the most knowledge when we do something hands on. When using er, est with adjectives they drew pictures using them in a sentence. At the end of that activity EVERYONE understood when er and est were and weren't used. It was awesome. I've done other activities like that. We'll soon do contraction surgery. I've held off on it thinking it was fluff, but I truly think it will be a great way for them to understand it...and it will be fun and cute...and I can't wait! They need to have fun...they are kids after all.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:49 PM
 
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I think the computer has changed that a lot. Things we used to do hands on are now on the computer with video style games or video. I still do a lot of hands on. Also with curriculum demands and test scores some times there is just not time for it. Also, the parenting styles and children have changed a lot in my 18 years. Use to have 1 or 2 parents get upset now it seems the norm "I have to go straighten out that teacher" and "don't make my baby do that" and "it's not my child it is so and so making him misbehave". I think we have gone overboard protecting their self esteem. Not every kid should get an award if they didn't work for it. Now they expect an award for doing nothing. Also a little embarassment might keep some from misbehaving. I know when I was in school you didn't want to be called to the office so you did what you were supposed to do. Now it doesn't seem to effect most no matter what punishment is dished out. Also, our options of punishment are limited. I am not for paddling but that would really straighten out a few. Now this is just my opinion don't mean to offend anyone. Also, there are loads of good supportive parents but lots more of the others.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:12 PM
 
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When I first started teaching, I remember there being huge chunks of time during my day that I had to fill. I would do projects, read aloud, do outdoor ed activities, take field trips, etc. My principal told me that there was a state test in the spring but it was nothing to worry about and I didn't have to do anything special to prepare for it. We were more concerned with teaching kids to be good citizens than their test scores ( I swear it's true!) Was that all 'fluff?" I don't think so. We had time to build a classroom community and kids got a wide range of experiences. There were no interventions but class sizes were smaller and I knew each student well. I had time to gear lessons toward student interest. We had time to play board games (reading directions and working together!) and do puzzles. I had a chess tournament one year! My kids played Scrabble to practice spelling.

Now almost every moment is scripted and I have no time for the 'fun' stuff. No field trips, no outdoor ed, read alouds are few and far between, and kids can't fold paper in half or use scissors properly because there are no projects. The first half of the year is geared toward getting kids ready for the state test.

I am not a better teacher now. The kids aren't smarter now. The curriculum is wide and shallow now. I liked it better back in the late 90's/early 2000's.
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HUGE differences now...
Old 03-12-2012, 06:16 PM
 
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Circa 1992:
Respect for adults and teachers
Discipline was still in "style"
Kids took pride in their work
Teachers weren't entertainers
Kids were kids...many happy memories in elementary school
Tests were thought of as chapter test
Kids had textbooks and workbooks
Higher-ups had common sense - meaning lawmakers
Kids could sit still and listen...which led to...learning
Kids could identify the continent, country, state, city, in which they lived
Knew important phone numbers
Knew their address
Could write, read, and actually knew some number sense

2012:
General lack of respect
No discipline - I MEAN ZIP
Rush through everything
Teachers were there to teach not be a secretary and multitasker
Kids are as stressed as we are...all they think about are tests
Same old chapter books that they read last year - none were ordered
Worksheets...
Lawmakers of today must have never had a childhood so they are robbing your kids of one
Kids couldn't be still if their lives depended on it
I live where?? In what country? In what state? In what city?
Do not know parent/grandparent numbers...for emergencies
Kids are being pushed way too hard...not developmentally ready

Oh, and handwriting and art are important. As a parent of adult children, I treasure their work. I still get it out to look at and travel back in time...to an age of innocence.
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In the classroom
Old 03-12-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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Quote:
These are not real world skills anymore. No offense...Who cares if they can't color or have sloppy handwriting?!
I do! I don't want my kids going to the next grade having anyone question what happened in their early elementary grades that they didn't learn how to write on the lines or form their letters properly. I don't want my kids going to the next grade and have anyone question why an eight year old can't color in the lines. I feel responsible for the quality of work my students put out. I set the expectations, and I should follow through on making sure they produce work that is up to their potential.

I agree that the powers that be seem to have very little respect for or understanding of what is and is not developmentally appropriate. I think the government and higher up admin is becoming more and more of a micro manager, coming into the classroom by way of laws and policies, taking away the teacher's right to teach and assess and plan according to what he/she knows about his/her own students' needs - while at the same time insisiting that we address individual students' needs. Standardized tests are making standardized kids. I still do a lot of "fun" activiites, that develop the objectives I am teaching, but I do them behind closed doors.

I agree with Helena who said
Quote:
General lack of respect
No discipline - I MEAN ZIP
Rush through everything
and I would add that the lack of respect and discipline, for me anyway, are directly related to the RUSH RUSH RUSH through everything. When I rush, my students misbehave. When I rush, my students rush and don't give quality work. When I rush, my students know that I don't have time to hear what they have to say, don't have time to deal with misbehavior, don't have time to make them do things correctly, don't have time to go back and reteach procedures, etc. The rush to get everything in and done before testing is like shooting yourself in the foot. But that is what are are expected to do.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:29 AM
 
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We were just talking about this. At first, we felt sorry for all the young teachers because they will never know how wonderful teaching 'just for children' can be. Then, we decided it is us we feel sorry for...because the young teachers don't know any better. And we do know what it is like to teach children for children...and not for the test/assessments only
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It is all in what you make it...
Old 03-14-2012, 10:19 AM
 
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and depends on how your administration views what you do. Yes, I spend a great deal of time testing and reviewing data, but I also spend a lot of time with creative, worthwhile, standards based activity. We read, write, build, research, sing, play, create, etc. We use textbooks, test prep materials, hands-on activities, technology, trade books, music, etc. We use higher level thinking skills and we do pretty well on the state test. It takes more time to find and create meaningful, creative lessons, but well worth the time.
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same
Old 03-14-2012, 04:55 PM
 
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The methods really haven't changed. It's a swinging pendulum. Whole Language and Problem Based Math were around 20ish years ago. The Direct Instruction took hold. Now some districts are swinging back to the Whole Language and Problem Based Math. It really doesn't matter which you use. It's more about if the teacher engages the students and spends enough time on task. Math is best taught using a combination of manipulatives and direct instruction. Language Arts is best taught using direct instruction and Whole Language. The problems come in when it's all one way. Don't thing anything is new. It just gets recycled.
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Good Question!
Old 03-15-2012, 04:10 AM
 
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I really enjoy the hands-on approach to science and math, but have been discouraged to do creative integration of projects because it is "not helping to prepare them for The Test." Our administration is more or less wanting less creativity and wanting all teachers to do the same thing. It really is frustrating and is leading to more burnout. After 13 years of teaching, I am sadly not enjoying it anymore. I love working with the students, but the stress of the new programs that we are required to do and the politics of education is causing me to stress every morning on my way to school.
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