Today I discovered one of my typically struggling students working with another student. He was explaining how to try different strategies to figure out an unfamiliar word. He did not tell the other student the answer, but appropriately asked her questions and encouraged her. What made this even more impressive was that this student is usually the student that needs reminders to slow down – in every area, especially talking! I was overjoyed by the way he spoke slowly and purposefully.
Thursday, May 27
I caught one of my students teaching today!
Today I had my students doing seatwork. While my students do at times work independently, I prefer when they work together. I want to develop their communication skills, problem solving skills and their ability to be leaders! It is something that I emphasize constantly.
Some of my students are powerful people and they are often the ones who take the leadership positions. They are the first ones finished and the first to help others. I watch this carefully and will distract or provide other learning opportunities so that they don’t dominate the others. It is a balancing act that keeps everyone safe.
Throughout the year we discussed the various ways to help a classmate. I've shown them the teaching strategies that I've learned. I modeled for them proper questioning techniques to help someone discover an answer rather than simply telling someone. We learned the difference between “thick “ and “thin” questions.
I watched unobtrusively, and while I don’t like to interrupt the flow of learning in the classroom, I made a special announcement recognizing the excellent teacher in the room. His smile filled the room with light.