Adapting Education for 3rd Grade Boys
Industrious Is A Bit Hard To Contain
When boys are in 3rd and 4th grade they are industrious and full of energy. At this time during his development he is ready to explore and tirelessly experience life. This is a momentous time in his life. It is also a time when many western cultures want to put him at a desk for several hours a day and give him assignments (reading, arithmetic, and writing).
If Books Grew On Trees!
He Wants To Climb Trees
No matter how brilliant he is these tasks regarding math, reading, and writing, are going to bore him and possibly frustrate him as well.
To balance his natural inclinations with the cultural demands of a formal education, it would be advantageous to provide him with a balanced schedule. A healthy balance will provide him with opportunities to explore and experience plenty of tree climbing, as well as academic tasks.
Books He Will Enjoy
Plan To Succeed
Every good leader begins with an evaluation of the team, an inventory of their strengths, consideration for their skills, interest in what is important to them. From this vantage point a leader (parent or teacher) can most effectively bring out the qualities desired and meet the goals of the organization (school board). A great well thought out plan to serve everyone involved (student, teacher, curriculum, and learning goals) will bring each student closer to the mark.
I would challenge you to make the academic tasks as enjoyable as possible. To achieve this goal it would be helpful to choreograph his educational tasks so they are interesting, multi-tasking, and challenging. For example:
- Books to read which capture his attention,
- Math supplies to spark his imagination (legos are remarkable), and
- Writing materials which hold his interest.
Make Reading Fun and Interesting
''Inkbats'' by A.J. Cosmo and Mariette Herold
Variety of Quality Books
The most interesting books I have read which are specifically written for third grade boys are by A.J.Cosmo. The first time I read his books I had received a free collection called “The Lost Series” and I was drawn into the story from the first page.
These are stories with illustrations and great lessons. But, most of all they are imaginative as well as comforting. Each story weaves in a lesson which is age appropriate and suited to this stage of his social and academic development.
Find the topics which interest your child combined with the lessons you would like your child to learn. Read the books yourself to determine if they are aligned with the message you would like to teach.
There are emerging artists and writers who are passionate about teaching and they share their lesson plans through their art (writing, drawing, music, endless humanities vehicles). Choose a variety of authors you admire and let the children choose from your selections.
Scholastic Teachers Provide Lesson Plans
Toys With Vision
Legos are a great tool to use for learning math. There are many resourced to assist in using Legos to learn math skills. This is a tool which will keep his interest and allow him to vividly visualize the math problems.
Scholastic Teachers have provided an amazing math tutorial using Lego blocks to help you to incorporate this beloved toy into a remarkable learning experience.
The Lesson Plans include step-by-step ideas, concepts, and a gradual development of skills. Look for the link list at the end of the article for continued access to lesson plans in a variety of math topics.
Writing Materials Can Be Fun
Fun Writing Lab
This is a great journal sketch book for anyone who would like to have a place to write, draw, or doodle. Great for carrying along in a backpack. Take along a few tools (pencils and an envelope to collect) and let your imagination expand.
Consider thinking about writing supplies to interest the explorer within. Consider supplies such as disappearing ink, handmade paper, stickers and drawing supplies. This will provide him with the opportunity to tell his story with words, pictures, and embellishment.
He will be happy to use the school supplies to do his homework when he is encouraged to have fun while he is practicing his writing skills.
Provide both the required materials for school assignments as well as the extras. When he has the opportunity to explore in the art of writing and drawing he will be better prepared for the less exciting educational tasks required by the school curriculum.
Explore and Excel
Read To Your Children
Combine the school curriculum with your child’s at-home activities. This approach will reinforce the learning process positively. I've been reading a lot about how parents are responding to the way schools are teaching subjects. Primarily parents are comparing how they were taught with how today’s classrooms are teaching topics. Please don't be like that.
Reading Out Loud
How often do you read to your children.
I struggled with undiagnosed learning disabilities...
It is hard enough for kids to learn today I believe it is making the challenge worse if they feel they are being taught wrong. I've engaged with people on both sides (new school / old school) and each feels they are right.
I believe we will gain more ground if we approach the situation from cooperation. We can of course admit we are feeling challenged and then model the behaviors we would like to instill in our children when they are facing a challenge.
The most common preventable challenges spring from undiagnosed disability and unnecessary debate about the lesson plans. A disability can be a major distraction from learning. The issues can range from physical limitations (sight or hearing), or processing (learning styles aren't a good fit with teaching styles).
The challenges I faced were during a time when less was known about learning. Today we have a wide range of resources, research, and assistance. Be sure to be open if/when someone you are teaching is having difficulty. Look at your style of teaching and the style of learning the child is equipped for.
© 2014 Deb Bryan