Sowing the Seeds

In the Bailey's Elementary summer school program, Anna and Kassia work with Young Scholars and the Big Idea of cycles and change. Integrating the theme into math and language arts poses challenges, as Anna and Kassia go through their own instructional cycles.




Putting It All Together

The summer’s activities begin to come together.

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Anna’s students are eager to share.

“What a busy summer school!” Anna thought. Between field trips, planting a garden, and classroom read-alouds, Anna’s students had really embraced the theme of cycles, seeds, and change. It was fun watching her young students work away on their “expert” projects about a fruit or vegetable. Enthusiasm was high, and Anna was eager for them to share the cycle reports they had been creating.

The Earth Patterns, Cycles and Change Curriculum Unit (coming soon)

Bailey’s Elementary has many programs to encourage positive home-school relations, but in the past, Anna’s efforts to get families involved had always felt like more work than it was worth. This summer’s farmer’s market culminating activity, though, provided a good opportunity to take advantage of parents’ gardening skills and hot summer days.


 Guiding Students During Mathematics

Kassia works with a small group on math story problems.

Even though she’d been teaching for a few years, Kassia was reminded almost every day that as a teacher you can’t take anything for granted. Today’s subtraction story problem was just supposed to be a quick refresher. Her real lesson was going to be about collecting money at the farmer’s market. That all changed as she worked with the first group of students.

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Kassia’s math lesson doesn’t yield immediate results.

It took more effort and time than Kassia thought it would to get the kids to understand the day’s story problem. As she reworded her questions again and again, Kassia realized “it” was bigger than the word problem—and bigger than math. It was all about creating a context for learning and getting the Big Idea.