"Creating Classroom Cultures that Support and Promote Student Thinking"
This book has struck a lot of chords with me so far. Chapter 4 made me think back to the 75+ Strategies when we were told to throw out all of the store-bought posters we may have. What hit me most was the purposeful use of language and teaching thinking skills.
In terms of language, I've always known deep down that my use of language in the classroom has a tremendous impact on my kids. I’ve thought about the vocabulary I use with kids, but some of the examples she gave and the way they validate a child's ideas and thinking and promote more of those ideas really made me think about other ways I talk to my kids. It made me realize that there are times when my frustration gets the best of me with certain kiddos and I fail to “elevate children in their own eyes as well as in the eyes of their classmates” (pg. 54).
My first question to you is:
In what ways do you “elevate” kids with your use of language? And how do you manage frustration in order to avoid having the opposite effect?
She has also repeated several times in the book already, the three bullet points on pg. 48: putting our thinking on display, intentional use of language, and making thinking visible, public, and permanent.
My next question to you is:
How do you go about making student thinking visible, public, and permanent? What kinds of charts/posters do you create (and when do you make them?!)?
The chapter, in summary, talks about creating cultures and promoting thinking within the classroom. I still have a few kids who only share when they know they have the “right” answer.
What do you do to create a culture/community within your classroom that encourages kids to share their thinking and gives them the confidence to do so, regardless of “right” or “wrong” answers?