Send Richard a voice mail message

Monday, December 14, 2009

Can a Teacher Reach All Students in His or Her Classroom? Part One

Before we address the topic of instructional strategies for meeting the academic needs of all students, I'd like to pose these two questions to you:

1. Can a teacher meet the academic needs of all his or her students?

2. How can a teacher meet the academic needs of all of his or her students?

In the next post I will address these questions and offer one suggested methodology.

1 comment:

  1. Here is the response that I received from Burton A Zipser:
    Dear Dr. Solomon:

    My comments are based on 51 years of teaching students in public and non-public schools, in congregational schools (Reform and Conservative) and as a private tutor to several hundred students from Grade One through age 82.

    I could tell the story of the mule trainer who, when asked to train a stubborn animal, tied the animal to a post and hit it with a 2X4 right between the eyes. When the owner protested that he did not want the animal killed, the mule trainer replied: "First, I have to get his attention."

    I offer the following suggestions:

    1. The teacher should be thoroughly prepared to present and/or discuss the assigned material.
    2. When a textbook or books is/are being used, present a list of page assignments at the beginning of the first class. Inform the students that, except for emergencies, the student is expected to have read and thought about the assigned material and should ask questions on the day the material is due. Mention that some introductory comments will be provided at the end of the previous day's class and that the student will find those comments to be helpful in studying the material. If the student has prepared the assignment properly, the student will find that (1) student participation in discussion on the day of the assignment will expand their understand of the material, and (2) you will provide additional information which will make the material more meaningful to those who are prepared.
    3. This approach can work in any grade from 3rd grade through college.
    4. Inform the students that there will be an open book exam at the end of each section, but that the questions only be meaningful if the student has properly prepared each assignment and that the purpose of the exam is to show that the student does understand the material and discussions and can comment on that material in his/her own words, showing that the interpretation of the material has become part of that student's understanding.
    5. The teacher, in turn, will be able to provide, using a variety of oral and visual examples, experiences which will highlight the most important and salient points.

    This approach can be used as early as the fourth grade (age nine). It also takes advantage of the infrequent absence since the student will already know what will be considered on any given day. Interactively, a student will be allowed to ask questions via e-mail which might not have been understood or clarified in class.

    And, students will remember the information. My teaching philosophy is based on the premise that "the student learns what the student does".

    L'shalom, Burton A. Zipser, Oak Park, Michigan


Jewish Education News Blog

Richard D. Solomon's Blog on Mentoring Jewish Students and Teachers