Stephen Stacy uses every tool available to him to bring his third grade lessons into the real world.
Before his class jumped into geometry, he walked them down to the lobby to look at the rectangles and quadrilaterals in the school's ceiling. "I try to consider the content that I have to communicate to my students and make it as tangible and applicable to their real lives as I possibly can."
Stacy wants his students to be problem solvers. So, he asks a lot of questions to build on what they know. "One of my strategies is to periodically pretend to forget what vocabulary words we've gone over and I'll snap my fingers and one of them will say oh yeah I remember that."
Those "oh yeah" moments happen quite frequently... because Stacy finds ways to spark his student's curiosity. Shealeigh Hott says "he makes jokes sometimes and makes learning fun." Hunter Delong says "he's just the best teacher ever. Because he's nice and helps us learn."
Some of that help comes from redundant instruction. Stacy splits students into groups to remain productive while he works with others one on one. "They'll work on one type of illustration, assignment, or project with me and they'll do something independent to practice some of the vocabulary that we cover."
The extra practice pays off. Some of Stacy's third grade students can read at a 5th grade level.