Tag Archives: speech

#SOL17: Approximations


He kicks.

He moves his arms.

He kicks some more.

He sputters as he swallows some water.

Arms are present to lightly hold . . . a scaffold . . . for safety’s purpose!

He laughs.

He plays.

He talks.

He yells.

Not every swimming stroke is perfect.

He is two and a half years old.

Does he need floaties?

Will those make him more dependent or independent?

Screenshot 2017-12-19 at 6.06.36 AM

When it comes to the spoken word

Not every word is perfect.

He is two and a half years old.

I have to listen closely to decipher some words.

And yet other words are crystal clear . . .

“Missippi River” and “quesadilla”!

Five and six sentence words are the average.

He is two and a half years old.

Why do we encourage approximation in

play,

language, and

many physical actions

but reject them in reading and writing?

Let me offer two scenarios:

Scenario 1:

A student is reading and says “kitten” for cat.

The teacher stops the child by tapping on the table, the error cue, and the child is to have another go, correct the error and continue on.  Kitten is more specific than “cat” so the child is positive that the utterance matches the picture of a small cat as a “kitten.” And the child repeats “kitten” and continues on.

If we were to focus on what the child can do, we might celebrate:

“He knows more than one name for cat.”

“He knows that a baby cat is a kitten.”

“He knows that he can check the picture for clues.”

“He has some knowledge of cats.”

“He is not changing his mind easily.”

“He is persistent.”

And most importantly, he REALLY is not saying this as a personal attack against the teacher who has been working on words like cat and dog for awhile.

The opportunity to find out what the child knows and why he is calling it a kitten instead of a cat exists.  The child just told us what he knows.  Now we need to explore his thinking instead of immediately moving to a “correcting” mentality.   Responding with a simple, “How do you know?” puts the student in the driver’s seat to explain their thinking and let the adults in on the big secrets of life. (It’s not really about US!) It’s really about what the child is showing us they are using.  Will someone really stand next to a reader correcting reading errors as they orally read?  What does that teach a child?  What is the role of self-correction?

Celebrate that the child was in the right animal family.  Precision in word use is often celebrated in writing but berated in reading.  Why is that so?  Over correction on the part of the listener, may lead to a student who patiently waits for someone to TELL them that word.  Is that the reader that we want?

Scenario 2:

A student is writing.

The teacher says, “Where are your sentences?  Your capital letters?  Your beginnings?  Your end punctuation?  This is all one sentence.  Please use everything you know about sentences in your writing.”

If we were to focus on what the child can do, we might celebrate:

“The child wrote without prompting.”

“The child had something to say.”

“The child wrote a lot.”

“The child told a story,”

“The child had a great beginning and middle to her story.”

“The child used mostly lower case letters.”

“The child had spaces between all words.”

“The child had a lot of details.”

“The child wrote most of the story that she had orally recounted.”

Instead of a belief that the child is out to torture you by leaving out all punctuation marks, what happens when you ask her to read it to you?  Does the child pause and or stop in the appropriate places?  That is more information for the teacher that doesn’t require a teacher led inquisition in a totally exasperated voice.  Less questioning and more listening seems to be one way for a teacher to “hack into” a child’s thinking.  A lack of punctuation by the child doesn’t mean that she knows absolutely nothing about punctuation.  On this day, it was probably less important to the author than it is to the teacher.  Considering when this child has previously used punctuation and capital letters in writing may lead to some important discoveries.  Is that a teacher process?  A student process?  Or should it be a shared process?  Maybe the expectation of perfect punctuation stops some students from writing.  What a sad unintended consequence that may be for children!

As we consider the quickly advancing winter break, do think about your own learning.  What’s new?  What’s still uncomfortable?  What are all the things you can do?  What are you still working on?  How much practice do you need in order to be confident? What’s one area that you might study about your own learning?  What wonders will you explore?

When do we celebrate the “can do” part of life at school? 

When do we celebrate approximations? 

When do we celebrate the habits of mind that keep a student working through struggles? 

When do we celebrate the MANY, MANY daily successes? 

What happens if the focus is truly on MANY “can do” moments and only one or two goals at a time?  




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

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#SOL17: Choose Kind


choose kind.jpg

Be Brave; Choose Kind!

You are you!

It’s your right.

Choose how to express yourself.

Choose what to express.

Choose when to express.

Think long and hard.

Consider the consequences of your speech.

Consider the consequences of your action.

Consider the consequence of inaction.

Choose wisely.

Is listening to concerns viewed as “agreement”?

Is listening to another viewpoint viewed as “forsaking the views of others”?

You.

Your choice.

Be brave.

Choose what is right for you.

Choose your venue.

Choose your action.

Choose your speech.

But don’t forget that you don’t have to go it alone . . .

Ask for help

Ask for validation

Ask for a listening ear

But above all,

Choose Kind!

Brave, my #OLW.

Sometimes Brave is Quiet.

Sometimes Brave roars.

But above all, Brave is Kind!

slice of life

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

Iowa Tourist in New York City: Oh, My!


Perfect Saturday weather in New York City with a beautiful blue sky and temperature in the 70s.  Add in gracious tour guide, @azajacks, (AKA Allison Jackson) and it was a wonderful day.  If you haven’t played tourist in NYC lately, this post may be the cause of a craving for a day or two or a week in the Big Apple.

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Remember that the first word in the title was “Iowa” and to make sure that you are not confused with Ohio or Idaho, I have given you the map with Iowa as the “red state”.  Last Wednesday I had the privilege of hearing @tguskey (AKA Tom Guskey) in a superb day sponsored by Drake University’s Education Leadership faculty.  (Take advantage of ANY opportunity to see Dr. Guskey!  He is a great storyteller who makes you think!)  Anyway (to keep this as a micro story), my Wednesday started and ended with deer in my driveway.  When I left at 6:00 am there were three does in the driveway – all just standing there looking at me as IF they owned the rock!  And when I returned home at 7:00 pm there were two fawns in the driveway for a grand total of five different deer on our property, highly visible to begin and end my day.  Deer on our property, whether on the roof, in the yard or driveway is “normal” as there is state forest timber on three sides of us.  We live in a VERY rural area!

Fast forward to Saturday, my first full day in NYC with a trip planned to the 9/11 Museum (including a guided tour) scheduled for 10:30 am.  Travel included the subway ride that began at 8:10 this morning and ended with the walk home from the subway about 8 pm.  Not a normal day in Iowa!

Where were we?
    • 9/11 Memorial
    • 9/11 Memorial Museum
    • 9/11 Memorial Museum Guided Tour
    • Wandering and Revisiting Exhibits in the 9/11 Memorial Museum
    • St. Paul’s Chapel
    • Time Square
    • Visiting the Lions at the New York City Public Library (and the gift shop)
    • Rockefeller Square
    • Bank Street Books

Google photos has many pictures available from the 9/11 Memorial or you can actually go to their site at 911memorial.orgImage

 

There is no admission fee on the outside grounds of the memorial.  You can visit the “Survivor Tree” or the “South and North Reflecting Pool Memorials” without tickets.  If you desire to view a specific name on the wall, you will want to visit the electronic search kiosk to locate the panel letter and number for that individual.  I looked for my sister’s friend and only a few seconds of search were required when searching with a first and last name.  

You will have to see the museum to believe it.  There is an admission charge with an additional charge for a guided tour.  Our tour leader was Eduardo, who was very good at putting us at ease so that we felt comfortable asking questions.  He is a master storyteller.  At the end we did ask for advice as we were thinking our time might be limited.  Eduardo shared that the guides had written their own scripts after studying the artifacts that were assembled on “Ground Zero” – studying and writing for months for a polished script!  Wow! His depth of knowledge was unbelievable.

You need to see:

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1) The “Slurry Wall” inside Foundation Hall and hear its original purpose and what has been done to reinforce it after 9/11

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2) This quote from Virgil on Memorial Hall.  Each “blue” page represents a person murdered at the Trade Center or because of the Al Qaeda plots.  Each blue page is also a different color – ALL 2,977 of them are uniquely different.

3) An artifact added after a stunning victory in the war against the Terrorists. (Hint – related to May 2, 2011 but not shown in a picture)

 

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4) Many heart wrenching and tear jerker stories complete with personal artifacts to view.

 

 

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5) Memorial Hall complete with photos for each person murdered by the terrorists.

And that is just a Very, Very small sampling of the artifacts.

After the guided tour, we went back to carefully reread the posted notes and view the tons of steel and concrete that remain a part of the Twin Towers and the existing “reflecting pools”.  It was a day of wonderment as well as a day of tears.  So many lives cut short.  Many unborn children who perished as well.  The museum truly honors and cherishes the victims.  The design was well executed! The layout maximizes space.  The subdued lighting adds to the somber and reverent tone!

What an amazing day!  Thanks, Allison!

Have you been to visit the 9/11 Museum Memorial?  What touristy plans do you have while participating in #tcrwp Writing Institute?

 

 

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