Wow, those little people are complex!! I have learned a tremendous amount of information in Ed 4738. Some of the most significant things I have learned are included below.

Reading aloud to young children can prove magical. I remember how thrilled and intrigued I was as a child when listening to a story. (Truth be told, I still am!) In this class I learned that in addition to all the wonderful creativity and literary benefits I knew reading aloud held, it also holds the magic of unconsciously teaching a child to read. Some parents have suddenly found that their child was reading all on their own and having gone to the child's teacher in gratitude, are told that their classmates are way behind in reading and the greatest attribute of the child's reading success comes from being read to aloud. How inspiring!

Engaging students at their own level of learning also came out strongly in Ed 4738. It is in fact key to motivating students of all walks of life to learn. It's our job to find out HOW to engage them however. All children want to learn, some just need to be engaged in ways that personally resonate with them. Therefore, we must know our students at a deeper level than mere academics. Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate! Find ways for varying students to show their strengths by offering them endless choices in showing evidence of their learning.

Don't reinvent the wheel. Beg, borrow or steal what others already created, when it comes to theories, management, assessment, resources, etc. Teachers are collaborators and therein lies their creativity and success!

Other tidbits of wealth in teaching that I picked up in the last 2 months include:
* Be proactive instead of reactive in classroom management. Have routines for everything and practice them into habit.
* Play is learning too! (See Importance of Engaging Students in Play tab)
* Safe classroom environments are essential (See Student Needs Regarding Security tab)
* Parents are more than just the people who take our students in at night. They are a gold nugget to have in our educational mining field where their child is concerned. (See Importance of Engaging Parents tab)
* And my personal favorite: Fake it 'til you make it!

Thanks so much Ellen!

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