The assigned paper illustrates diverse classroom strategies for middle school, some of which can be adapted to students aged four. The first strategy is starting a new school year by presenting a schematically formatted syllabus that outlines grading and late work policies, teacher information, and the required tools (Too Cool for Middle School, n.d.). Four-year-olds’ reading skills are basically non-existent, and strict grading practices are not applicable. Therefore, an appropriate adaptation can look like a simplistic diagram that shows how the teacher’s first name is spelled and explains subject areas. To improve children’s understanding of what they will have to study, teachers can use symbols and pictures to represent the key areas of knowledge to be covered, such as maths, language arts, or preschool science. Information on performance evaluation and developmental milestones could be delivered to parents.
The author also reviews syllabus knowledge assessments as a viable strategy. The so-called syllabus scavenger hunt is a short test that checks students’ understanding of the curriculum one day after its presentation in the classroom (Too Cool for Middle School, n.d). Written assignments requiring responses in full sentences are not appropriate for four-year-olds, so the applicable adaptations might look like a brief teacher-directed group discussion. Children will be asked to find the correct spelling of the teacher’s name among the misspelled variants and then remember the presented subject areas and offer their explanations of why these subjects should be studied.
Another classroom activity organization tip from the video is using written reminders, and I find this recommendation the most useful. Specifically, the speaker suggests using the Remind application to send updates and text messages to students or parents without receiving responses (Too Cool for Middle School, n.d.). With four-year-old students, this strategy can only be used in the context of parent-teacher communication. This tip will promote the timely provision of reminders to children’s parents in my future classroom. For instance, the Remind tool will facilitate the dissemination of information on appropriate clothing and the required utensils in the case of field trips. It will also support me in making sure that parents stay informed on all planned competition events, festivals, or celebrations that involve specific preparation or caregivers’ presence in the educational setting.
Too Cool for Middle School. (n.d.). The first week of school teacher tips [Video]. YouTube.