Dr. Temple Grandin, Guest Speaker to 4-H Youth Organization

gif_PPU0114I recently had an opportunity to hear Dr. Temple Grandin speak to a 4-H youth organization.

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is an animal behavior scientist, and on the autism spectrum.

4-H (head, heart, hands, and health) is a youth organization that has been around since the early 1900s. Their mission is “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.” Traditionally, they have had an emphasis on agriculture. They also focus on citizenship, healthy living, science, engineering, and technology programs.

In her talk, Dr. Grandin mainly addressed the needs of students on the autism spectrum, while intertwining this with her work in the field of animal sciences. Here are some of the key points I came away after the talk:

  • If you don’t show kids interesting stuff, they don’t get interested. It’s that simple.
  • We need to be thinking a lot more about careers.
  • Free play teaches negotiation and turn taking.
  • There is too much emphasis on deficit and not what a kid is good at.
  • Kids need to learn to do what is assigned to them. In the real world–you get assigned things.

I absolutely appreciate Dr. Temple Grandin’s practicality when it comes to teaching!

Free St. Patrick’s Day Worksheet!

Here is a fun worksheet for you to download!

I am always thinking of ideas for teaching writing, and this worksheet lends itself well to teaching writing a paragraph. Students can write a topic sentence about catching a leprechaun, and then add three supporting sentences (from the list they make), and then a close.

Download here: St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day-1


Test Taking Strategies for Reading and Writing

gif_Education-031-bwState testing has arrived. Students have worked hard all year, and now it’s time for them to show what they know!

Students will be expected to:

  • Answer multiple choice questions
  • Write short constructed responses to reading
  • Write a paragraph(s) (younger students)
  • Write an extended piece (older students)
  • Edit

The tests vary slightly from state to state, but general test-taking principles apply across the board. Ideally, these skills should be taught all year long. Still, it is always good idea to do a refresher of test taking tips and strategies with your students/children before they test:

  • Read all the answers before you mark one. Often all of the answers have some relationship to the text.  Pick the one that is most related to the text.
  • Look back at the passage to locate answers. Think about where in the passage the answer might be found and read that part.
  • When writing, make sure you write to the prompt and use the language of the prompt in your paragraph or essay.
  • Make a plan to keep the writing organized. Include a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Be sure to include interesting details.
  • Reread your writing prompt to check for capitalization, punctuation, and any errors.

Keep in mind, state testing is only once a year, and offers just a “snap shot” of students’ capabilities.

These test taking strategies and skills are good for all year long. They may seem a little obvious, but I see students make these type of mistakes (e.g. not reading all the choices, etc.) all the time! I hope this helps.