Lewis & Clark Leading Innovation – Reaching All 3rd Graders
When someone says they are a 3rd grade teacher, non-educators would assume that their responsibility is to teach those students all things a 3rd grader should know (in regards to standards). Educators will tell you that is potentially only 10% of the job. Aside from all of the non-academic learning that falls on teachers, most 3rd graders aren’t necessarily on a 3rd grade level. Teachers, passionate about their students and their needs, need to reach them all, regardless of if they are on a 1st grade or 4th grade level.
In a team meeting, a teacher on the 3rd grade team at Lewis & Clark, fed up with her feeling of not meeting the needs of her students, said, “We are doing a disservice to those students that are below grade grade level.” I think it was something that her team members felt, but it wasn’t until she uttered those words that they all decided something needed to change.
With a team of five teachers (two of them are in a co-teaching environment), a variety of beliefs, ideas, and practices, the groundwork has been laid for all 3rd graders to be met at their current level in regards to math instruction/learning! Like mentioned before, the four classroom environments are different. Their students are different. The range of how they are approaching their project range from goal setting to individualized online lessons to small group instruction to one to one conferring with teacher and student.
In a short amount of time this spring, students showed immense amounts of growth. On top of that, students, blending all of their new classroom instructional structure/systems with an adoption of LC’s learner dispositions, have taken ownership over their learning! They are applying what they are learning, and it is evident!
The work will continue into this fall and the 3rd grade team continues to tweak and enhance to again, reach all 3rd graders!