Friday, March 12, 2004

Selected Issues in Elementary Guidance.

Selected Issues in Elementary Guidance. This article looks at issues facing elementary school counselors. There are a lot of issues...

From the site:

Many of the problems which interfere with the elementary educational experience arise from difficulties outside the school. Some are the result of such changes in the traditional family structure and function as increased numbers of working mothers with school-age children, higher divorce/separation rates, increased numbers of single-parent families, and increased geographic mobility.

Other problems may stem more specifically from ineffective parent-child relationships. Whatever the source, the elementary school counselor is in a unique position to help students, school personnel, families, and the community to work toward overcoming these difficulties.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A World of Kindergartens

A World of Kindergartens. Nancy Yost, a kindergarten teacher at Indiana University of Pennsylvania's lab school, provides a variety of resources for teaching young children.

From the site:

To assist teachers in locating information on topics that are being investigated in their classrooms, I have filed ideas and information alphabetically. The information was originally shared on list serves and email messages to me. I collected it into one site to assist you in your classrooms. Happy surfing.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Improving the Use of Elementary Social Studies Textbooks.

Improving the Use of Elementary Social Studies Textbooks. Some elementary teachers are better than others at using textbooks in class. This essay has ideas for all of us in being better at integrating social science textbooks in class.

From the site:

Basal textbooks are a common means of instruction in elementary social studies classrooms. They are useful sources of knowledge and may serve as a core for social studies instruction. However, even the best textbook is a limited teaching tool which must be used in combination with other media and materials to adequately address important learning objectives pertaining to cognitive skills and civic participation. Teachers who depend only on textbooks are likely to deprive students of important learning experiences.

This digest discusses (1) how social studies textbooks are used by elementary teachers, (2) problems children have in reading textbooks, and (3) procedures for improving textbook use in elementary social studies.

HOW ARE SOCIAL STUDIES TEXTBOOKS USED BY MOST ELEMENTARY TEACHERS?

The hardcover basal textbook dominates teaching and learning in elementary social studies classes (Patrick and Hawke 1982). Too often, social studies instruction involves reading assignments in a single textbook. As with math, science, and health, there is a temptation to allow the textbook to define the curriculum, with the flow of topics determined by consecutive pages.

Many teachers have found ways to expand upon the content of the textbook, adding films, tradebooks, and a variety of projects to help break the monotony of daily use and maintain student interest. In recent years, however, there has been an increase in "textbook alone" instruction, as reductions in school budgets have depleted the supply of up-to-date supplementary materials, and teachers have begun to react to pressures of the back-to-basics movement, state-wide testing, and criticisms of all but the most traditional teaching practices.