Thursday, April 30, 2009


Here is a snippit of a website that helps you plan a project. The website is called Gantter. It is essentially an online version of Microsoft Project.

As you can see, I set up a plan for teaching the skills related to fractions that are prescribed by the Cycle 3 Quebec curriculum.

Each skill has an estimated duration, and each skill is not initiated until the prerequisite skill is completed. Thus, an estimated graphical timeline for the project is created. - web-based project management alternative via kwout

I investigated the possibility of creating a similar project proposal for English, or for a subset of English, but I cannot visualize how such a thing would look.

English and Math are too different.

I am sometimes reminded just how complex and demanding the job of a teacher is, and how many people underestimate teachers as glorified babysitters.

But, here is an example of the complexity of teaching. An elementary teacher must teach Math, English, Socials, and Science. Each of these subjects is fundamentally different. They require different methods of preparation and different methods of assessment. Essentially, the elementary teacher is required to do 4 jobs simulataneously. (This is excluding other subjects, such as Art and Computers.)

Math has specific skills and abilities that can be neatly measured. Science and Socials are similar to Math, but more complicated. These subjects have facts that can be memorized and assessed, but they also have higher level concepts than might be understood.

English is the most obscure of all. The rules of grammar can be taught and measured, without much trouble; although, there is not the definite order of learning that characterizes Math. Is it more advisable to teach Capitalization or Pluralization first? It doesn't matter -- one is not a prerequisite of the other.

When it comes to reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills, the role of the teacher becomes even more uncertain. There is no definite process for teaching these abilities, and there is no definite method for measuring them.


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