Teachers. I believe they are the most important people. Teachers should be one of the highest paid professionals, their role in the growth of your child is so very important. But school is more than teachers, it takes a lot to have a well-rounded student. The book Mission Possible, by Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia gives you tips and some secrets of their success that can work in any school. Here is a little more information about the book from the website:
Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of the highly regarded Success Academy Charter Schools, and literacy specialist Arin Lavinia offer groundbreaking, classroom-tested methods for dramatic improvement in teaching and learning. Moskowitz and Lavinia reveal how one Harlem charter school, comprised of neighborhood children selected at random, railed against all odds to emerge as one of the top schools in New York City and State within its first three years. Success Academy scholars have met or exceeded the test results of public schools for gifted students and elite private schools.
Did you know that according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) one-third of all fourth graders in the United States cannot read at a basic level. This is amazing, that in this day and age that so many cannot read. But I do believe this statistic. When I was growing up going to city public schools, there were many of my classmates that did not read well. And there were a few that could only read at a very basic level, in 8th grade. How can this happen? Not caring perhaps, the teachers we had just went through the motions, and why did they not take any extra steps to help these struggling students. If I knew they could barely read, the teacher had to have known.
But whose fault is it, the teacher, the parents, the child? It is a tough call. As a child I would have blamed the school and the teacher…. But as a parent I don’t know who I would put the blame on. The teacher can only do so much, parents have to step up, and make sure their child strives and does well in school.
But is there a better way of teacher, a better type of school? A charter school in the middle of Harlem, that becomes one of the top schools in New York City? How can this happen? Success Academies that is how they change the way kids are taught. Here is a sample of the daily schedule, wow what a full day for the students:
7:15- 7:45 Arrival – Parents and their scholars arrive at school, dressed in uniform, homework in hand and ready to learn. Our scholars eat breakfast before making their way to their classroom for their morning meeting.
7:45 – 8:00 Morning meeting – Scholars gather with their teachers to discuss what will be happening throughout the day.
8:00 Guided Reading – Scholars begin the day by gathering in groups according to their independent reading level for Guided Reading – part of our THINK Literacy curriculum. The teacher provides each group with a great book, an introduction to it and a “thinking job” to help them discover the meaning of that book. Once scholars have read their books (with the coaching of their teacher), the teacher guides them in a discussion.
8:30 Reading Workshop – Our scholars continue on their reading journey in a different way. In the Reading Workshop, the teacher provides brief instruction on one aspect of excellent reading. Our scholars then get an opportunity to practice this approach by reading on their own (because we know you only get better at reading by spending time reading quality books). The teacher also works with small groups of scholars during this time.
9:30 Writing Workshop – On to writing! Like Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop begins with a brief lesson about one aspect of excellent writing. Scholars then put pen to paper and write up a storm in the same genre the class is studying. During this time, the teacher works with small groups of scholars to improve the level of the ideas, structures, details and mechanics in their writing.
10:15 Snack – Every kid needs fuel to keep learning. Our scholars take a break during the morning for a delicious and nutritious snack.
10:30 Read Aloud – The scholars gather to hear a world-class book read aloud by their teacher, but this is not your average bed time story! As she reads, the teacher thinks aloud about the book and asks great questions about it – all in an effort to set scholars up to understand the book. This is followed by a discussion during which scholars discuss and debate the important ideas in the book. Even in our Kindergarten classrooms, you will hear phrases like, “I agree with you because…” or, “I have adjusted my thinking based on what you said because…” and of course, “What is your evidence?”
11:00 Number Stories – It’s time for math. Scholars are encouraged to discover ways to solve math problems on their own through Number Stories. Once the teacher has shared a story problem with the class and made sure they understand the question at hand, each scholar figures out how to solve the problem on their own. Then everyone shares the method they discovered.
11:30 Math Facts – More math in a different way: this time the focus is on recall and facility with numbers to further build our scholars’ math skills.
12:00 Science – There’s science every day! Which means every day there’s a new discovery, an experiment to work through and hands-on exploration.
12:50 Recess – It’s time to stretch the physical muscles. Our Assistant Teacher joins our scholars on the playground for exercise and play. On any given day you might find a class playing kickball, a game of soccer or four square.
1:15 Lunch – More fuel to keep the brain going for the afternoon! All of our scholars are provided with lunch every day.
1:45 Specials – Each of our schools offers some kind of "Special" for its students. The scholars might be learning about chess, musical theater, art, karate, dance or another type of specialized subject.
2:30 Shared Text – The afternoon continues with a return to the THINK Literacy curriculum. During this time, the class reads and interprets a short text – a passage, a poem, a quote, a rhyme – to understand its meaning.
3:00 Math Workshop – It’s time for more discovery with numbers. Students will learn a new mathematical concept through an investigation or game.
3:45 Technology – Our scholars get hands-on experience with computers through a fun and interactive touch-typing program. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog!!
4:30 Pack up and dismissal – Off to home or an after-school program in the community.
With this book, it shows how important it is from academic challenges, I wish I had the option for my daughter to go to a school like this. But with the tips from the book I hope my daughter will get the same great education in her new school.
My daughter recently was accepted to a charter school and I am looking forward to the carter school experience, so far even the summer homework is so much different than public school she went to in the past. The school is very hands on and stresses all types of education. I think it will be a bit of a shock, compared to the more laid back teaching style that she is used to. But all in all, I think she will rise above and really soar.
Would you like your child to rise to their expectations? And be the best student they can be, why not check out the book Mission Possible the book shares some tips and tricks for success that will work at any school.
Would you like to win a Mission Possible book, and DVD combo? One of Susan’s Disney Family reader will win, to enter please visit the Mission Possible site, take a look around and tell me something you learned from the site.
You purchase this book on the Mission Possible site
One winner will win a Mission Possible book, and DVD combo
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