Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Teaching with Intention Book Study Chapters 3 and 4

I am behind in linking up so this post is about chapter 3 and 4 from Debbie Miller's Teaching with Intention book study. 
Chapter 3 was about the classroom environment.  So far this has been my favorite chapter.  I strive to make the classroom friendly and welcoming for students.  As I read this chapter I gained new ideas as well as validate what I am already doing.

On page 24, Debbie says to step out of your classroom and look back in.  What do you see?  Then, ask a colleague to give honest feedback using these questions:
What do you know I value?
What do you know I value about teaching and learning?
What do you know about the kids in this room?

A few points to reflect on:
-Get rid of or donate what you don't need.  {I believe organization is key to an optimal learning environment.}
-Classrooms need to be welcoming environments that encourage students to become active learners and collaborate.  
-Think about how you arrange these areas of the classroom:  meeting area, small group area, student seating, classroom library, and teacher desk.  

My favorite part about this chapter was on the last page.  "That's why on the first days of school the classroom walls, bulletin boards, and doors will be almost bare.  That's as it should be!  Don't jump in and "put stuff up" just to make yourself feel better." (pg. 42)
With Pinterest and Instagram, teachers are exposed to what seems to be perfectly decorated classrooms. Naturally, teachers want to mock the same result.  It is important to keep in mind cute is not a best practice.  Our classrooms should reflect the students and new learning.
Chapter 4 was about creating classroom culture.  As a follow up to the previous chapter about the environment, now we are reflecting on our language with students.

"The messages we send on the first days and weeks of school are the messages that set the tone for the entire year.  From all the ways we put our thinking and theirs on display to what we say and do to foster and find significance in student thinking, we're letting kids in on who are we, what we expect from them (and ourselves), and what we believe about teaching and learning.  And yes!  A smile goes a long way, too." (pg. 49) 
Since I was in college, I was told frequently to not smile until December.  However, kids need smiles.  Period.  What impression do you want to make with your students?

In this chapter Debbie Miller mentions the value of being a reflective teacher.  To be reflective in our reading and writing Debbie suggests carrying a notebook around.  I thought this was a great suggestion because many times I think of a great idea to include in a lesson, but forgot to write it down somewhere.

This chapter was divided into 3 sections:
-Putting our thinking on display.  {This shows our students that we are present.  When we are present, we are thoughtful and curious.}
-The intentional use of language {Be present and listen to students.  Really listen to what they are trying to say instead of dismissing any crazy thoughts or ideas.}
-Make thinking visible, physical, and permanent {Document student's thinking.  Many teachers do this with anchor charts, displaying student work, and quotes.}

Thanks for reading my long post!

No comments:

Post a Comment