Thursday, February 5, 2015

Three Books That Raised My Game...

Although a day late...

I'm linking up with Teaching Trio to bring you three of my favorite...teaching books!



Teach Like a Champion was required reading in my school two summers ago. Can I say how much I loved it? While the book isn't perfect, (All schools featured are charter schools from same area I believe) one tip changed my classroom...forever.  (Cue music!)  

NO OPT OUT!

In a nutshell: It's NOT okay not to try!

You know those kids who are always shrugging their shoulders and saying, "I don't know?" The ones who want to fly under the radar for whatever reason they have? The first time you let them slide or move on to someone else to answer, you're giving them a free pass to shrug the year away.  Now, I know you're thinking that you would never accept a bunch of "I don't knows" but I did. With one child a few years ago. I'm not going to go into the reason but I assure you, I was confident it was for "all the right reasons." 

I. 
Was.
Wrong.

Some of my friends have admitted to accepting "the shrug" for various reasons, too: students who were so low that they knew they probably didn't know the answer; The child that was just sort of "out there" all the time; Or the child who no one ever expected to know ANYTHING and, somehow, expectations just weren't the same for that student.

No Opt Out allows EVERY child to answer every question EVERY time.  They have no choice.  Sound mean? Unrealistic?  I don't think so.  I actually think it's a win-win situation for the entire class. Dignity for all!  

So, for the past two years, no one, not one child in my class has said, "I don't know," when I've asked them an academic question.  Seriously.  Okay- someone surely did it ONCE.  But once was all it took for EVERYONE to know it wasn't allowed. Does this sound harsh?  It's not! Promise!  Once you implement it, you'll look back and wish you did it sooner! Here's what it can look like... there are FOUR FORMATS:

Format 1: You provide the answer, the student repeats the answer.
Teacher: What’s the capital of NJ, Kim?
Kim: South Brunswick.
Teacher: The capital of NJ is Trenton.  Now you tell me. What’s the capital of NJ?
Kim: Trenton.
Teacher: Good, Kim.  The capital of NJ is Trenton.

Format 2: Another student provides the answer, the initial student repeats the answer.
Teacher: What’s the capital of NJ, Kim?
Kim: South Brunswick.
Teacher: Who can tell Kim the capital of NJ?
Maha: The capital of NJ is Trenton.
Teacher: Good. Kim, now you tell me. What’s the capital of NJ?
Kim: Trenton.
Teacher: Yep! The capital of NJ is Trenton.

Format 3: You provide a cue; your student uses it to find the answer.
Teacher: What’s the capital of NJ, Kim?
Kim: South Brunswick.
Teacher: We can find the capital by looking at the map and locating the star. The star is labeled “Capital of NJ.”  Now locate that star, Kim, and tell me the capital of NJ.
Kim: Trenton.
Teacher: Good, Kim.  The capital of NJ is Trenton.

Format 4: Another student provides a cue; the initial student uses it to find the answer.
Teacher: What’s the capital of NJ, Kim?
Kim: South Brunswick.
Teacher: Who can tell Kim how to find the capital of NJ?
Maha: Look in our book and find the star labeled “Capital of NJ.”
Teacher: Yes. I'm asking you to use your book to locate and name the capital of NJ. Kim, what’s the capital of NJ?
Kim: Trenton.
Teacher: You have it! The capital of NJ is Trenton.

Now I teach FIRST GRADE and it's made a huge difference. I imagine it's even more effective in the upper grades.  If you try it, let me know your thoughts!

NUMBER TALKS:  In a nutshell: Builds math fluency!

What I love: SO EASY to implement and only takes 5-7 minutes a day.  Can be less.  I love how I get to peek into my students' brains and see exactly HOW they see numbers.  My kids dig deeper into number sense and always amaze me with their increasing fluency.

Reading Essentials: This book is OLD!  2002? 2003?  Yep. Ancient!  But it still rings true today.  I LOVE REGIE ROUTMAN!  Maybe WORSHIP is the right word? The book is so easy to read and every word is golden.  I could go on and on, but lucky for me (and you!) I found my favorite chapter in a PDF online HERE.

Okay- this post took me forever!  I have some lesson plans to tinker with.  Hope you can check out one (or all!) of the books soon!

Want to share your favorite things?  Click on the button!
    

2 comments:

  1. I've never read Teach Like a Champion, but I've heard great things about it. I actually use Format 3 and 4 in my classroom already, but it was great to see other options. Thanks for being so thorough! I will have to check these books out! :D

    Beth
    Adventures of a Schoolmarm

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Teach comes with a DVD, too. Shows quick clips of the tips in action. Have a great day1

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