These wise words belong to Lester Laminack, who I so happily spent the day watching in action. Lester has many catch phrases I picked up last week as I watched him interact with a group of primary and intermediate learners. For me this phrase use your mouth and use your manners will help with the speaking traffic that happens as my kids think out loud. I've been waiting for guidance in my own classroom for how to manage "thinking voices." He explained that using your mouth to ask questions, speak thoughts, agree, disagree or connect to others thinking is big for kids. I agree that it is one of these reasons my kids are engaged during group time. He also balanced this thought with an analogy of cars on road. He explained to us and the kids that drivers in cars take turns, wave to each other and stop when another is moving. Lester reminded the kids that as learners we do this in conversation with each other. He practiced a conversation collision with a student to show another how we can say..."oh excuse me, finish your idea." I needed this. I also needed his advice for making sure that our quieter voices are heard in the classroom. He suggested reminding our strong "out loud" thinkers to give a turn to those who hadn't been heard. He is amazing with the kids!!
Other Lesterisms that I left thinking about...
" Reading is breathing in and writing is breathing out."
"We are teaching out of our knowledge base as we are guided by our hearts."
Books he recommended for reading:
Why We Teach by Linda Alston
Push by Saffire
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J.Gaines