Teaching with Intention: Chapter 4

Creating Classroom Cultures That Support and Promote Student Thinking


"But when we believe we can write a poem at any moment and act on that belief, isn't it amazing how we can inspire can-do spirit in the classroom we teach?"

There is more to teaching than just sitting up at the front of a room and going through a teacher's edition of a text book.  (Shocking I know!)  Until you are able to have a CAN DO attitude yourself you can't share that with your students.  I cringe when I hear teachers say, "I'm not good at this...or that (usually math)" because I know that that attitude can creep into their everyday teaching.  It's catching! 

Now I'm not here to tell you that I'm perfect and I already do all the things that Debbie talks about in this chapter, but I did reflect on my classroom culture and some of the things we already do and some of the things I can work on. 

What are my concerns?  Even though we have started putting our thinking on display I think we could use some work in these areas: 
  • putting our thinking on display (we need MORE of this!)
  • the intentional use of language
  • making thinking VISIBLE, PUBLIC, and PERMANENT.  
I really want to work on the visible, public and permanent part.  I am the teacher that is guilty of starting out with that awesome KWL chart that never gets to the "L" part (What we know, what we want to learn, what we learned).  So reflection at the end of a unit is important, and having that learning on display is really important. 

Another concern?  My own reflection.  I love, Love, LOVE that Debbie keeps a journal and jots things down in the middle of a lesson!  Can you imagine if your teacher stopped and said, "Wait, I want to write down what you just said..."  How empowering for a 5 year old to have a grown up write down their thinking in their own notebook.  I have a journal that will work perfectly back in my classroom but I grabbed this one at the Dollar Tree just in case.  It doesn't have to be fancy, just comfortable enough to stick with you all day long! 


I also loved that Debbie discussed the intentional use of language.  I read Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children's Learning by Peter Johnston about 7 years ago.  It was such a powerful book!  I've tried to get it on our professional development schedule many many times and it never seems to happen.  I strongly encourage you (seriously, go buy it now!) to read this book before the summer is over. Click on the picture for a link to buy it!  
http://www.amazon.com/Choice-Words-Language-Childrens-Learning/dp/1571103899
Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today!  I am a few days late on this chapter reflection but I felt strongly about the ideas that Debbie shared so I couldn't skip it!

Don't forget to link up with the chapter hosts Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Positively Learning.