I re-stumbled across the Teaching Tip linky over at Miss Kindergarten, a fellow SoCal blogger that I had the pleasure of meeting at my very first blogger meet up!
A great idea, indeed, and I'm joining in - late. But joining in, nonetheless. (Isn't that a fun word?)
So here it goes! I've got two very different tips - one's a practical tip, one's a philosophical tip!
1. Sheet protector white boards. Do you use white boards in your class? I do! But I hate those bulky, hard ones. So - slip a piece or two of card stock in a sheet protector, and voila! A lightweight, white board that students can use during instruction. They are so lightweight that my kiddos keep them in their book boxes, and then they're ready to go for my Daily 5 focus lessons. And yes, dry erase markers erase easily off of the sheet protector! You can also stick other pages in there that your kiddos use every day - like Number of the Day, or fact practice. Note: You just have to teach them how to hold them so the pages don't fall out. :)
2. It's all about the questions. This year, my school is doing A LOT of development gearing up for Common Core. Not the actual content - we're learning to facilitate student-focused, organic discussions. I'm no expert by any means, but a few questioning statements I like are:
- Why do you think that?
- What makes you say that?
- Tell me more about that.
It does take a lot of patience and time to get the kids discussing at the level you want, but they do get there eventually, and it's really cool.
One way you could get this started is by using these Visual Thinking Strategies posters. A dear teacher-friend brought these to our school from her previous district. It's one of the coolest teaching things I've seen!
The discussion techniques then easily transfer into literacy and math. Awesome!
Okay, if you're a late-bloomer like me, head on over to Miss Kindergarten and link up!
PS: Who's ready for Thanksgiving break!?!?