Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday Words: It's About the Converations

When I first started posting every Wednesday, I planned on focusing on word study. What does instruction look like? Sound like? Best practices?  I've been posting since February 10 every Wednesday, little over two months. I just realized this week as I was thinking about what to post today that the key word in my Wednesday's post is "word." and that's what I have been pondering lately.  Words, vocabulary in the classroom, questions, teacher talk. What ever synonym you want to use that's what I've been contemplating. Like the world of blogging, my thinking ebbs and flows. I find myself getting caught up in one idea - immersing myself in it by reading blogs, reading professional books, sending tweets and joining twitter chats.

I find myself being robotic with my questions that I ask in the classroom. After 27 years, I am extremely programmed. This year, I read Readers Front & Center by Dorothy Barnhouse. I also reread Choice Words, by Peter Johnson for the umpteenth time. Both of these books help me organize my thinking, and I started making cheat sheets (small index cards) so that I could reprogram my brain when asking questions. I put the index cards on my clipboard or hold them as I am teaching. These helpful hints help me to ask questions at a higher level both in whole group and small groups and has made a huge shift in my instructional practices.

Some of my new question from the article 
I just found “100 Questions That Help Students Think about Thinking” on twitter. These questions are categorized and it will be my go to for the rest of the school year. I especially like the idea of Maker Space and helping students be more reflective as learners. With six weeks of school left, I am going to structure workshop around stronger questions and allow myself some freedom to make mistakes at the same time begin to mold my new language of questioning.  My cheat sheets are growing.... So perhaps Wednesday's blog isn't going to be just about instructional practices with word study.. Perhaps it's going to be just about words a pretty lofty topic.

1 comment:

  1. We are always growing - and it's books like What Readers Really Do that push our thinking and our teaching. I love your idea of questioning cheat sheets to keep us from slipping back into the usual questions. Great post, my friend.