Thursday, July 2, 2015

Learning Like a Pirate Responsibility

Empowering students is what we want to do as educators. One way that I empower my students is to allow them the opportunity to work through conflicts with their peers. In the beginning of the year, we learn about all of the strategies that can help them overcome disagreements. It’s great to see them go from the practice mode to the actual using of the strategies. It’s invigorating to see it work as well. In our school we use the cool down area, Kelso’s strategies, and “I feel…” discussions to understand one another’s point of view or to overcome the disagreements.

In this chapter, Paul took it a bit deeper and really opened my eyes to how I assign my jobs. I was looking at it from the perspective of if it’s not assigned, then no one will do it. The jobs start off working great, then we get into the learning process that we forget to do our jobs. That leaves me at the end of the day cleaning up my classroom before the janitors walk into the room! If we have a discussion at the beginning of the year of what needs to be done and who is responsible, I think I can really change that aspect!

What I aspire to do this year is Literature Circles. Guided reading is fine, but I want my kids to really dive into reading. I know not all of my kids will be ready for them, but I think by midyear most of them will be! I have added some more PD book to my list to read before school starts…Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs and Reading Groups and Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading.

On Monday, I took a Guided Reading workshop and was so shocked at how little kids got to pick their books. I thought, but what sense does it make for them to not read what they want to! It would make kids hate reading with all of the non-fiction they are having to read all of the time. So, when a teacher stood up and stated that they were upset that kids don’t get to read the essential literature anymore, that really got me thinking about doing Lit. Circles more. Thanks Paul for energizing my mind so much about literature circles so that they are more than the boring literacy packs!

Overall, this chapter really talked about teaching the kids how to take charge and how to be a socializing leader. The kids have to have the socio-emotional piece so that they can move into a student-led classroom. I think that kids are able to move that way with the guidance. I’m sure that I will not be having a “Silent Day,” but I think that after reading this book and implementing some aspects will make my kiddos more confident and self-sufficient. One pet peeve I had this last year was listening to how many teachers refused to let their kids touch their pencil sharpener. My rebuttal was, well- when are they going to learn how to use one?

I feel more equipped to change my kids more just because of the encouragement I'm feeling from reading this book. :) 
AHH! I am super excited now to get started… back to summer break though! (PS: Apprarently, I forgot to hit publish for last week's post. I just hit the silly save button. So if you want, check it out here!)

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