When the door is closed , after the checking in is done, we have the freedom at our school to talk about what is good for children. We agree, that we can never give up the precious time that they ask for every day. Every elementary teacher who is reading this knows what we were whispering about. We vow, we cheer- read aloud will never die. It is the time we relax, that we can delve and all can savor. Teaching a strategy is automatic, seamless as we read with intonation and voice. Together we relish new word discoveries and explore different worlds from our own.
Finally, as a team of teachers we discuss why the new assessment tool is superior to our other tool- we all agree that it can help us to know where to go next with our students…helpful to see exactly what is hanging them up in comprehension. Is it vocabulary, is it that they can’t derive the essence of why the author wrote the story ….or is it that they don’t understand the problem? Do they have difficulty making an inference based on details from the text??? main idea???? the list was long….scary. How do we move them forward?
You have to ‘go low, to get high’. Okay, crazy Nancy….what in the —- are you talking about now? Don’t you have to get pretty low in the limbo to come out the winner? Well, I think the kids have to go back to the easy to start to see their mental process in play. Like when I can’t remember how do do a percentage problem I remember 10 percent of a 100 is 90. Do an easy math problem, to get or understand a harder one. Read an easy book, and sometimes lots of easy books, to understand that in a story plot there usually is a problem and then a solution. My kids laugh when the wolf lands in the pot of boiling water when he can’t blow the brick house down. They usually can infer that the villain will get a taste of his own cruelty. Oh yes and then another side effect is that they can see why the sequence and the details are so important. Oh how we love picture books- we need to bring them out all the time…‘go low, to get high’. They should all be lined up on our chalkboard- face forward for easy access and easy love.
Snip, snap, snout this tale is told out.
PS So once again, in one morning- we solved the problems of the world with laughter and our books.