What are your beliefs about teaching and learning?
- The environment must be appropriate for learning. The students have to feel comfortable, not feel overwhelmed, and feel as though it is their classroom.
- Planning is essential for learning to occur. If you don't have a plan with an end in mind then you will get lost, if you are lost, the kids are lost!
- Lessons should happen in three phases, modeling by the teacher, practice with the teacher, and practice independently (or with a small group)
- Lessons should be based on student needs. A teacher should not move on when students are not ready just because the manual says next lesson please!
How do you build a sense of community in your classroom?
Community is built by getting all students to buy in. In my classroom each I begin the year by having students bring in family photos, which we display all over the room. We are all family and that room is our home, homes have family photos!! Then I have a set of jobs and each child is given a job (this rotates). The jobs given them a sense of ownership in the room. We also sit at tables and do most of our work in small groups. The students are encouraged to help each other and work together.
How do you go about teaching kids something new?
I try to teach my lessons in a similar format each time so that the kids have a routine they can count on. We begin each lesson with a quick review/recap of the day before. This could be a question, statement, or activity, but always short. Then we move into the hook for our new skill/concept. I have done all kinds of different things. One of my kids favorites is when I make a youtube playlist of videos on our new topic (they are very short clips) and the students guess what it is!! After a discussion, I model our new skill, then our whole class works together in a similar activity. After that the students complete an activity on their own or in small group.
There were a couple of lines in this chapter that really stood out to me that I wanted to share!!!
1. But for all their pomp, it's hard to imagine the circumstance where prepackaged programs and scripts teach children better than we do.
Miller, Debbie (2008-08-13). Teaching with Intention (Kindle Locations 253-254). Stenhouse Publishers - A. Kindle Edition.
We sure do get a lot of STUFF when we adopt book programs, but they don't hold all the answers. They are ONE tool to use, never let a program tell you how to teach!!!!!
2. So intently was I listening for thinking that mirrored my own that I'd forgotten the importance of listening to what kids have to say. I barely heard them because I was so determined to lead them to my way of thinking.
Miller, Debbie (2008-08-13). Teaching with Intention (Kindle Locations 271-273). Stenhouse Publishers - A. Kindle Edition.
I have been guilty of this a lot. I know the answer and only listen for that. All to often they are giving us a GREAT answer, and we aren't listening to hear it!!!
That is it! See you next week for Chapter 3!!!