“By reflecting to the students their comments, the teacher at once validates their voice, shows that she is listening, and opens the possibility for them to reflect on, modify, or challenge what has been said” (Johnston 55).
I love when teachers reflect on a students comment because just like the quote says, it “shows that she is listening.” Its so important that students feel that they are being heard and be able to explain in depth the answer to a question or comment. I’ve had many teachers who have not done this and they just brush off what the students say. One professor I had NEVER called on her students or even invited questions or comments. If a student raised his/her she would ignore it and continue on with her lecture, it was sometimes frustrating because if we had a question about a particular part she wouldn’t let us ask, so it just pushed us back for that class period because we were unable to understand the rest of what was being taught.
For children it’s so important that the teacher pays close attention to his/her students and to elaborate on any questions they might have. This will help their self-esteem and also they will feel that the teacher cares, forcing them to want to learn.
“Freed of the burden of meaning, nonsense rhymes and the like reveal the internal structure of words as an object of interest rather than of labor.” (Johnston 48).
I loved this chapter, Johnston uses many good examples and one of them was about Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss figured out such a clever way of making children want to read the books. Growing up I loved reading Dr. Seuss because I felt and still do feel that those rhymes were/are full of fun and laughter. Its like reading a book out of this world because some of the words are simply just made up while others are real. That’s what makes it so fun. It made me feel that there is no type of “wrong” writing.
“Some children keep home and school spaces rigidly separate, believing they are unrelated.” (Johnston 43). I have to admit, I was this student. I couldn’t figure out how the same stuff we do at school relates to the stuff we do at home. I was finally able to answer myself. In school the teachers focus so much on way of reading, writing, and doing maths, but every one student is different, so as teachers we need to be able to really connect personally things at home into school. Teachers need to be able to focus less on the “right” and “wrong” way of doing something and focus more on the all the ways you can do something.
I had a teacher who always tried using personally experiences as examples to help us with our math problems and it was honestly the most helpful thing he could’ve done for us. He didn’t use a hypothetical situation or something magical that could never happened; he used real everyday examples. I remember one day he used a girls compact mirror as an example to measure the distance of an angle. It was so helpful for the exam because i just couldn’t get it out of my head the way he used it.
Teaching for strategies requires setting children up to generate strategies, then reviewing with them, in an agentive retelling, the effectiveness of the strategies they generated, as in, “You figured out that tricky word by yourself. How did you do that?” (Johnston 31)
I really enjoyed this chapter because it really focused on helping the child in such a positive way that makes them want to continue to learn. Johnston talks a lot about strategies used to help the students learn in a positive learning environment. When a child hears the teacher say “You figured out that tricky word by yourself”, it makes the student want to jump up and begin explaining to you how they got the answer.
I had been tutoring this little boy who was in first grade and he had been having a really difficult time in class. I learned that it was because his parents had only really been focusing on the wrong the boy was doing in his homework and not encouraging him with the right he was doing. This really affected the boy in a sense that his parents would just end up giving his the answers, so he was never able to explain how he got the answer he did. The teacher and I tried to help build the boys confidence by making a big deal when he answered questions correctly. We allowed the boy to answer all the questions on his own with minimal help from me. After I saw that the answer was correct I would go on by asking him how he got the answer. Soon he became so excited to want to tell me how he got the answers to all the questions. This really helped him focus more in class to because he wanted to continue o explaining things to me.