It's time for Chapter 2 of the Teaching With Intention book study with Mr. Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard! This week's hosts are Flying Into First Grade, The Primary Gal, and Mrs. Daily's Classroom! If you would like to link up, head on over to one of these lady's blogs and link up!
Chapter 2 of Teaching with Intention talks about sitting down and figuring out your own beliefs about teaching and how students learn. These beliefs should lead the practices in your classroom. If you believe that students learn in different ways then you should be using varied instruction, reteaching with different methods, and supporting all the different learners in your classroom. Debbie Miller also points out that you need to have an end goal. I think this is a very important point in this chapter. What is your end goal? How you do you want your classroom to look in May? Where do you want each student to be at the end of the year? I really started to think about this because I am looping with my students next year to second grade and will be keeping a lot of the same students. I plan to sit down and think about where each kid is and where I want them at the end of the year. I'm not just going to think about it, but also write it down and reflect on it at the end of the year.
What are your beliefs about teaching and learning?
I believe that constant reflection on your teaching is the best way to improve. Being honest about your strengths and weaknesses will help you grow as a teacher. I don't feel that all students learn at the same pace or in the same ways... celebrate reaching the goal. Not every child is going to pass an assessment the first time... sometimes when a child must work longer, harder, and smarter than others to reach a goal, they build more character and work ethic in the long run.
How do you build a sense of community in your classroom?
Building a community in your classroom is crucial in those first few weeks. I think it is important for all of your students to feel important and needed. Assigning classroom jobs helps students feel needed. Allowing students to explore helps them feel comfortable in the room. I love when kids finally get so comfortable in a room that you see them opening cabinets, drawers, and tubs to get materials that they need without prompting. It's even better when they start to put things away and straighten up the room when you don't even ask!
How do you go about teaching kids something new?
Prior knowledge can be so empowering to students. Every topic that you teach has some sort of prior connection to something they have learned in the past. Making these connections for the students right off the bat will give them a hook and some confidence in what they are about to learn. Modeling what is expected is another important tool when teaching a new skill. Students need to see exactly what is expected and modeling that expectation is important when teaching kids something new.
Don't forget to link up your own blog post and to come back next week for Chapter 3!