Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reflection 8

Reflection Prompt: Think about what types of corrections you most commonly need to make verbally. (from observing  I'd say SLANT, stop talking, track the speaker, I need hands) Which nonverbal signals can you begin and consistently use in order to redirect students when needed without interrupting your instruction.

Over the last week I've really made an effort to focus on using nonverbally to make classroom management corrections. I could use a hand with all 5 fingers spread to count down when I need students to transition to another activity.

Another nonverbal signal that I can use is simple hand guestures like motioning my hands down or pointing to where I want students to redirect their attention to. One that I do not want to ignore is the power of proximity. Standing next to a student who is not in compliance can also aid as a nonverbal.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reflection 7

Reflection Prompt
I think one of the practices that reflects a first year teacher the most (besides being on the verge of tremendously excited and exhausted all in the same day) is that we want to "do the work" for our students. We want to answer the questions and pave the way. This seems particularly true with reading and writing.  I keep speaking to "pushing out the thinking" in your class. The writer of this blog posting offers thoughts on this, and not for first year teachers - ANY teacher. http://turnonyourbrain.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/defining-deep-reading-and-text-dependent-questions/
What are your takeaways from the article, particularly with regard to frontloading and expecting students to do the work on their own in the ELA classroom?

Christina Hank of Turn On Your Brain talks about a teacher's struggle of handing over the answers to students instead of letting them dig into the concepts, reading or subject matter. I feel the same way. Sometimes I want my students to "feel smart" so I probe them with questions that are kind of no-brainers until I can "trust" them with the content. Isn't that weird? I also have to admit that I link my students success to my own abilities and strengths as a teacher. In other words, when they fail, I MEGA fail. I feel so bad when they don't understand because I feel as though I am giving my students a disservice. As I grow, I'm learning to trust my students and my abilities.

Christina talks about text dependent questions. Text dependant questions force students to go back into the text and search for deeper understanding and evidence even if they have read the text more than once. This type of questioning goes right back to upper level Costas. It uses words like:
  • Analyze
  • Investigate
  • Examine
  • Prove
  • Consider
rather than
  • Define
  • Describe
  • List
  • Complete
  • Identify.
Since brought to my attention, I have made an earnest effort to push for text dependent and higher level questions.