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.