Saturday, June 18, 2016

Poverty Brains in the Classroom - Final post

Eric Jensen's books go into so much more detail than I have provided in these posts.  If these have sparked any interest, please take time to read his books.  As a classroom teacher, I found his new one, Poor Students, Rich Teachering, especially helpful.

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This is an area that I personally excel.  It simply comes naturally to me.  So, as I started this chapter I was simply reading it to complete the book.  Yes, many of his thoughts were not new to me and probably many of you as Marzano's research and books along with Anita Archer are widely respected.  However, I still found new bits of information.  If classroom management or engagement are a growth area for you, I highly suggest looking into this last chapter of  Poor Students, Rich Teachering.  

(#1 & 2 are part of reciprocal teaching.  It has 0.74 effect size. This is an area I want to grow as a teacher.)

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1. Creating a quiz...I do have my students create tests/quizzes and use them as a grade.  This activity will be added to that arsenal of tools.  Partners work together and each student creates 3 questions.  They share their questions and eliminate one from each persons list.  Then each partner set, finds another partner set.  They exchange questions.  I may change the way it is done a bit by  having the partners only eliminate one question giving them 5 as a set.  If it is used as a test then I would probably have them find another set to exchange with as well for a total of 10 questions.  Yes, they may end up with repeated questions.  I don't worry about that.  
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2. Clarifying Content...This is something as teachers I believe we do but just not regularly enough.  Or at least this teacher doesn't.   Ask questions such as: Can you rephrase that in your own words? What questions does this reading bring to your mind?  How would you explain that to someone else?  In my classroom, I could see this working into my students journals.  At the start of the year, I would have them write out to one of these for various passages/content. Each time write, then discuss it with a partner or group.  Finally take a few answers as whole class.  After several of these types of questions have been used, I would start giving them the choice for which they want to write an answer.  (I have been doing some GenX research and choice IS KEY!!)
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3. Rituals...Chapter 22 goes into rituals and routines. It states that rituals: solve recurring problems, include all students, easy to do, predictable, end with a positive emotional state.  (Note: procedures may meet some of these criteria but do not meet all.)  Examples are callbacks and celebrations.  I have several of both of these, but this year found the celebrations lagging than my norm.  What off the wall, unique celebrations do you do?  

I wish I would have read the epilogue first! It really digs into reflective practice through questioning.  
It also provides a nicely put together checklist to use.