This chapter was all about the culture that we have in our classroom, and how WE can influence that culture! It is so true, as we are able to set the tone for what our classrooms are going to be like!
This is something that I know that I have to work on! I know that I talk through problems with the kids, but I'm not really telling them when I'm thinking through something, or why I need to work on something. This will be a great learning lesson for them as well, so they know that I am also thinking through things, and working things out! Plus, it will help me to be more PRESENT!
I loved the part of the chapter where she talked about the fact that she knows she can't be thinking about the to do list sitting on her desk. GUILTY! Even at home I know I do those things! I have a to do list a mile long, but I need to be present! Having that to do list shouldn't be a burden, and I'm not going to let it get in the way of being in the moment with my kids at home or in my classroom! When we ask our students a question we need to make sure that we are really listening to their answer.
I would like to think that I give my students many opportunities to think, but I don't know if I do enough. We have lots of think time as we are reading the bible during religion, or reading a story in Daily 5. They get to think about what they want to write about, and then later in the day we get to think about our science or social studies lessons. But really, how much are they thinking, and how much are they just sitting there!?
I love the idea that Debbie used to carry around a notebook and record students answers. "It lets students know that thinking matters. When children are immersed in classroom cultures where thinking is well documented, it reminds students of the results of past endeavors and invites and encourages new ones!" I LOVE THIS!! We need to remind our students of thinking they have done in the past as we tackle the future. As we are working through a difficult math problem, we need to be able to remind them of the steps they took yesterday, or even last week. When we are exploring new spelling or vocabulary words, we need to be able to help them remember what they know about these words already.
I know I am going to be going out to look for a notebook where I will be able to do this, or a fun ap! If you already have a suggestion to share, please do!!
I often give MULTIPLE students the opportunity to answer a question before we talk about what the correct or incorrect answers are. I love doing this because it gives many students an opportunity to share, and they are willing to share what they truly think because they know that they aren't going to be judged for what they answer. They also know that I am not going to tell them yes or no when they are done, but instead I thank them for their answers.
I also remind my students that we will wait for them to answer, so that way they don't feel rushed, and they know that we aren't just going to skip over them. Students are allowed to pass, or ask for me to come back to them, but I want them to know that they are going to participate in the conversation. This way it also gets away from the same four or five students ALWAYS answering the questions!
I can't wait to see what everyone else thought of this chapter! Make sure to check out Ashley and Jen's blogs to see what everyone else thought!! Time to go buy my notebook, or find a new ap to download!!