Celebrating the Fourth: Ideas and Inspiration for Teachers of Grade Four
Can a teacher inspire learning, develop a sense of classroom community, hold the interests of a changing assortment of nine- and ten-year-olds, and continue to spark her own enthusiasm in the process? Joan Servis has been doing that for twenty-five years, and in Celebrating the Fourth, she shares the experience she has gained over a quarter of a century as a fourth-grade teacher in Ohio's progressive Shaker Heights school district.
Beginning as a "skill-and-drill teacher," Servis reached a turning point more than ten years ago when a classroom experiment using authentic literature texts yielded dramatic results. Questioning her old practices, she began to consult more freely with colleagues and students. Now, Servis champions a collaborative approach to learning, and shows how your classroom can be invigorated with techniques like daily self-reflection, giving students choices and responsibility, creating a risk-taking environment, and applauding students' success.
Celebrating the Fourth is unique not just in its grade-specific focus, but in its comprehensiveness. All subject areas from language arts to math and science are explored, as well as issues like parent outreach and building a sense of classroom community. Along with recommendations for resources and materials, Servis provides sample assessment forms. Especially timely are her ideas for satisfying parents' and administrators' requirements, without diminishing student input.
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I have two copies of this book... one for home (hi-lited and scribbled over... dog-eared, and post-it note filled...) and one at school (autographed by Joan...) to show to my colleagues when their enthusiasm for teaching flags. Joan Servis has written a timeless and inspirational book that teachers of all grades can benefit by. Her ideas transfer beyond her beloved 4th, and her enthusiasm, passion, and deep love of teaching are all contagious.Over the years, I have given it as a gift to teachers and administrators. Everyone in education should read it! I re-read this almost every summer, just before tackling another exciting school year. It always gets me off to a great start! You'll enjoy this book as much as you'll find it useful!
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