debetesse: (Default)
I will be teaching students from ages 9-12. I have been trained in mathematics instruction including fractions, decimals, ratios, non-decimal bases, and basic Algebra. I'm betting that the kids will get through all that and more. Especially if I end up with the class that goes up through 8th grade. Apart from what is State-required, and what is covered in, say, a Freshman textbook, what should I cover? What do you wish that teachers taught? What's a foundational skill that your life would be better if students knew? What do teachers teach stupid, and should be explained or demonstrated differently?

See that previous paragraph? Replace "math" with "geometry", and my training is through area, volume, surface area, compass/straight-edge constructions, and really basic point/line/plane stuff.

Repeat again, with biology. The biology curriculum hasn't significantly changed in decades, which worries me slightly. We do parts and functions of parts of plants, vertebrates vs invertebrates, kinds of vertebrates, the idea of classification of animals and plants further than that (though I sometimes question the system we use in that classification), the idea of cells, of photosynthesis, of heredity.

Computers are slightly different. The kids will have been using computers for research and stuff for 3 years (there are iBooks, 2 per class, plus some others that can be brought in), but, apart from "how to determine the likely reliability of a website" and "Hey, look, powerpoint!", I'm not sure where to go with that.

We have essentially no Chemistry, and the Physics was utterly unhelpful. Beyond states of matter, there's not much there. Some plate tectonics/geology (anybody know a way to do a volcano model that isn't primarily dependent on a chemical reaction for the effect?).

I have an insane amount of latitude in my curriculum-planning. As long as I cover the State-required stuff (however I like so long as they learn it), and I can justify it, pedagogically, I've got my own head. Also, if you know any good books for me to have in my classroom, for the kids to start further research, if something strikes their fancy?

I'll get to history, language, art, and music later. I know that there are a goodly number of mathy-sciencey types, and I know all you all are opinionated. Ok, yes, and I've been listening to the Science Friday podcast.

Apparently, I need a teaching icon. Gonna have to ponder that.


debetesse: (Default)

November 2012

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