A lot of the content on these charts is too difficult for pre-K, but it is still useful to see the various types of posters that can be created to encourage writing and good discussions. I like some of the more visual posters in particular, such as the one with the parts of a face broken down into what each should do when having a conversation. These skills are very important to start working on in pre-K and Kindergarten, so students can begin to build respect with one another. I want to have morning meetings, which would involve my students listening to their peers and taking turns. Posters with reminders that you can simply tap when students are off track help keep a positive learning environment!
“Today you are YOU, that is TRUER than true. There is NO ONE alive who is YOUER than YOU!” ~ Dr. Seuss
In my motivation and management class today, we had a very powerful activity in which we analyzed children’s books and videos on the effects of bullying. It really affected me because I was bullied when I was younger and it is important for children to understand that even simple remarks about someone’s appearance can be hurtful. At the beginning of the term, my CT was teaching a bullying unit that touched on many of these issues. It was about reflecting on who you are and connecting with other people in the class, as well as having deeper conversations. Children need to have discussions about their experiences and how other people reacted when they told them. Bullying is a major cause of suicide and depression – it is a horrible action that people won’t stop doing unless they know the ramifications and full effects. This experience can be very heartwrenching since the students are sharing about personal issues going on. My CT also went through the packet with her responses before the children completed it, which helped build community and allow them to be vulnerable with each other. I found the Dr. Seuss quote a while back and thought it went very well with this post 🙂 It can be difficult when someone is putting who you are down, but you have to remember that you are meant to be an individual and you have a purpose on this Earth as well! People shouldn’t tell you who to be or how to act because they aren’t in charge of your life. With all the cliques out there, it can be hard not to feel the need to alter yourself in order to fit in, BUT children need to understand that changing who you are is actually harder than just being yourself. Do what comes naturally and accept those who accept you 🙂 I also wrote a poem after class because I had to get my reflective thoughts out – click here to read: The Unnoticed
I read an article recently, entitled “8 ways teachers can talk less and get kids talking more,” about the importance of students talking more than the teacher. Student collaboration and discussions are more beneficial than them being lectured at. I pulled two of the eight ways that stuck out as ones I hadn’t heard before. They are both about altering what the teacher says. One was about turning statements into prompts or questions (i.e. instead of “take a look at #3, it’s wrong,” you would say “how did you get your answer to #3”). This was interesting to me because so many teachers just let the child know they got something wrong, but don’t follow-up for explanation from the student. Having them go through the steps of their thinking process can really help you understand the student better as well as notice the error easier. The second one involved changing the statement, “does that make sense,“ to “can you put that in your own words” – it helps everyone remember content if they hear it again and their peers can summarize it in a simpler way.
My graduate program is very student-centered, so allowing for more discussion than lecturing is a large part of that. There are some things that seem like you need they need to be lectured about, but you can always have the students discuss what they think of the topic and tell you their ideas instead. Discovering the information in a collaborative space is a great way to learn! It doesn’t always need to just be discussions either. They can figure out the process through research, stations, games, etc. Education has a such a strain on testing, but the student can find out information through more exploratory ways.