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    Meaningful lessons
    By Shannon

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    I think that meaningful lessons CAN be as good as boring, redundant ones. However, it really depends on the teacher. Some teachers have been teaching forever and can craft creative, educationally sound lessons. My teaching partner is one of them. She has all kinds of creative, hands-on lessons and centers to teach the kids. However, there are other people who try for meaningful lessons and kind of miss the mark. My teaching partner from last year was one of them. All she cared about was doing hands-on, creative projects for the units, rather than teaching the actual, basic skills. A program like Open Court levels the playing field.

    Also, I like meaningful lessons as much as the next guy, but having to create them gets a little bit old. On some lessons you have tons of time and energy, and thus are motivated to create a very meaningful, bang-up lesson. On others you are very busy or uncreative on the particular topic, and that's when you just want to use a workbook. Balance between the traditional and more modern methods of teaching is important both for the students' education and for your own sanity. With Open Court, Saxon, and other intense programs, you do have time to balance the traditional with a few meaningful lessons (science, social studies, or even Open Court/Saxon-related stuff). I like the idea that I can rely on the scripted programs for my traditional, solid instruction, and then have extra planning time left over to create these few meaningful and creative lessons.

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