Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Opening Minds #2 #cyberPD

After reading Chapter 4, "Good Job!" Fedback, Praise and Other Responses,  I found myself wanting to cringe at the number of times I say those praiseful words: good job, super or nice job during the course of the day. I feel like I have used these phrases as a way to manage kids by finishing a conversation with "praise" instead of telling a student I need to talk with another student or that is is important to keep thinking and persuing their thoughts about the writing or reading they may be doing.

This chapter also reminded me of another book I have read called Nuture Shock in which authors Bronson and Merryman also note the research of Dr. Dweck who summarizes "when we praise children for their intelligence; we tell them this is the name of the game, look smart, don't risk making mistakes."

My big take aways from this chapter:  Praise is about us.  I stopped to think about how I could focus on process oriented feedback.  To do this I had to think about what person oriented feedback I am in the habit of and then set next to it some options for process oriented feedback that I want to work toward.
 Language Habits I want to Change                           Language that will work better


Wow, great job                                                            Look at how you
                                                                                    You could teach others
                                                                                     What can you do know
                                                                                     How did you do that?

Nice job noticing                                                         Thank you for sharing...
                                                                                     You tried hard...


In Chapter 5,  I found myself loving the conversation between Manny and Sergio.  I liked thinking about the importance of making meaning in a conversation and the importance of modeling this for our students.  I think so many times adults and kids are too focused on taking responsibility for the temporary meaning they have made. The conversation becomes about the power (expert vs. novice) rather that making meaning of the topic. I also thought about how I could help encourage these symmetrical conversations in my classroom and in my life. After reading the examples in Cheryl's classroom. I began to think about how the language I need to use needs to be inclusive.  I wote down a few phrases that will guide this work:
What do the rest of you think?
So we have two different ideas...
We have listened to one another and have so much to learn from each other...


Lastly, in Chapter 6,  Johnston states...
"We have to help them learn to imagine what goes on inside heads and not just the cognitive strategies begin used to solve problems, but the complex social-emotional logic that lies behind behavior."

This chapter had me thinking about the importance of social imagination and how to incorporate it into the classroom. I thought about  how explicit I can be with social cues (When I picked up this book I made a face, what was I thinking?), modeling how to listen effectively and how to solve problems.  These behaviors all seem to fit so nicely into workshop routines where kids learn to go and think with a partner or group. I know using fish bowls to involve students in explicit modeling of social behaviors will be key.

I have to say I feel like this book has had the most impact and push to change my behaviors as a teacher this summer.  I am loving it.







12 comments:

Jill Fisch said...

"I think so many times adults and kids are too focused on taking responsibility for the temporary meaning they have made. The conversation becomes about the power (expert vs. novice) rather that making meaning of the topic."

So true. I agree that much of the time our conversations are about power and who is the "expert" rather than making meaning. It is something I need to work on both personally and professionally. It shouldn't matter if the person speaking has "authority" or is an "expert". What matters is the ideas. Another shift I need to work on making. Thanks for bringing it up.

Karen said...

I am loving this book as well. Many of our observations/reflections on this section of the book were quite similar. A powerful read, and one that will be a good change catalyst for me this year and in years to come.

Mrs. V said...

I was also thinking about Nurture Shock. I haven't read it, but students in my teacher preparation courses this year were reading it for another class and brought up comments about what they should/shouldn't say often.

Mary Lee said...

"I have to say I feel like this book has had the most impact and push to change my behaviors as a teacher this summer. I am loving it."

AGREE!

Karen said...

Language - how powerful it can be! Like you, I am thinking much about my language -- what I'd like to change and what I'd like to add to my repertoire. Will definitely be a highlight of my sharing on Monday. :)

Carol said...

Morning Katie! Like you, I was cringing when I read Johnston's commentary on using, "I like…" I don't use that in my classroom, but I have definitely been known to say, "I am proud of…" or "I am disappointed that you…" to my boys. Ouch. So yesterday, when I talked to my son in Phoenix about some car issues, I tried really hard to focus on narrating his PROCESS and trying to acknowledge his efforts as a dynamic problem solver (Ok, so what if he did add $48 worth of coolant because the car wouldn't start! At least he tried something!) Think your chart about language habits you want to change would be a great graphic organizer for PD; I plan on stealing it to use in a workshop with teachers. I hope that is ok! And like you, I am loving this book and know I will return to it often!

Cathy said...

Katie,
So much to consider here. Your section of "language habits you want to change" and "language that will work better" was helpful in considering changes I need to make. I struggle with these same habits. I wonder if primary teachers, as a whole, suffer a little more? Our group probably needs a "language we can use" page.

Your sentence, "The conversation becomes about the power (expert vs. novice) rather that making meaning of the topic," caught my attention. If could just remember to stay focused on the meaning, and help students to see the significance of doing the same, the quality of our conversations would improve exponentially.

Glad you joined the conversation. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts.

Cathy

Laura Komos said...

Your side by side comparison of language habits to change and language that will work better was a great idea! Seeing these phrases and words in different ways will help me to internalize them. Thank you!
~Laura

Julie said...

Katie, I agree that this book (and being able to interact with other readers) has had a huge impact on me as a teacher. I had the same cringing feeling as I read chapter 4. Your side by side comparison of the language you use and how you want to change it was very insightful. (I almost said, "Good Job!") :) Thanks for sharing.

John said...

This article is really worth reading, it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand, Thanks for sharing

High School Diploma

debf said...

Katie~
Like Jill and Cathy I am struck by the realization of how often our classroom dialog is about power. Imagine a classroom where every student feels equal and all conversations are valued and built upon.. I am setting this a my top goal this year!

Andrew Reeds said...

A very close of mine referred me this book and I just started it recently and already loving it.