Sometimes, I’m good at stuff.
The students don’t necessarily notice, so I need a forum in which to share my successes. Isn’t that what blogs are for?Bragging? Sharing ideas?
In Grade 9 English, we are learning about reading strategies. For each strategy, we teach the student what it is, model it (I do), go through an example together (we do), and then have the students practice it on their own (you do). We also talk about criteria for ‘simple’ and ‘higher level’ answers. For example, yesterday we (and I don’t mean the royal we, I mean myself and my teaching partner, Ms.S) took the students to the lunch room for the “we do” phase. The students asked questions about pictures posted around the room, then in partners classified the questions as ‘simple’ or ‘higher level’. We then asked the students to come up with criteria for what makes a question simple and what makes it higher level. It was so interesting to see that they could almost alway accurately identify which questions were simple and which were higher level, but they had a lot of difficulty understanding how they knew, and were totally confused when I asked them what the criteria for a simple question is.
This is where the thing I’m sometimes good at comes into play: explaining stuff. I asked the students if they knew the difference between boys clothes and girls clothes. They looked at me funny, but nodded their heads. I asked them if I gave them a bag full of clothes, how could they tell which were men’s and which were women’s? They listed all sorts of things: size, colour, pattern, brand, style, fit, amount of jewels on it, etc. How we recognize men’s clothing or women’s clothing is based on a criteria for each. Bam (do you think I can say that in the classroom, or does it only apply when cooking?). Now we apply that to questioning – how do we recoginze a simple quesiton, and how do we recognize a higher level question? What’s the criteria for each? Considering they came up with some answers, I’d say my explanation was a success.
I also can’t wait for the “Digital Citizenship” unit coming up in Grade 9, mostly because I’m going to compare them using their smart phones just to text to using your car just to listen to the radio. Bam.