Sunday, June 14, 2015

Teaching with Intention - Beliefs & Practices

Hi Friends!  I hope you are well into enjoying your summer break!I am joining in the Teaching with Intention book study  with Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard. This week is hosted by Flying into First, The Primary Gal and Mrs. Dailey's Classroom
 
 
Chapter 2 focuses on our personal teaching beliefs.  What EXACTLY do we believe about TEACHING and LEARNING and is it EVIDENT in our CLASSROOMS?
 
That is easier said than done!  Have you ever written down your beliefs?  Debbie Miller took over 1 year to refine her beliefs!  With 20 years of teaching, these are the first things that have come to my mind about my own beliefs about teaching and learning in the primary grades:
 
CHILDREN NEED TO BE IMMERSED IN REAL LITERATURE.  THEY NEED TO BE SHOWN
THAT I VALUE READING AND FEEL A LOVE OF READING IN OUR CLASSROOM!

 
I have spent a LOT of time organizing my classroom library.  I have books organized by theme and by reading levels.  My goal is for students to be able to access books of interest quickly in order to optimize their reading time.
 
STUDENTS NEED TO FEEL SAFE AND BE WILLING TO TAKE RISKS IN OUR CLASSROOM. FOSTERING A CLASSROOM COMMUNITY IS KEY.


We are a TEAM in and out of the classroom.  We work on building each other up and supporting each other's efforts.  All students learn in different ways and have different abilities.  Celebrate that!
 
 STUDENTS LEARN BEST WHEN THEY ARE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN LEARNING.  AFTER  MODELING NEW CONCEPTS, STUDENTS NEED TIME TO PRACTICE WITH MEANINGFUL ACTIVITIES.
 
 
I spend a lot of time planning meaningful activities and integrated units. I love that Debbie Miller says, "Learning is maximized when the lessons I design are purposeful, interactive and engaging, with real world applications."
 
Now its time for some self reflection.  Do I do all of these things consistently? 
Honestly, NO!
 
This summer will be my time to reflect and see what I can do better.  Debbie Miller suggests reflecting in a journal at the end of each day.  How and when we reflect is personal, but reflection will lead to better teaching!
 
The chapter was wrapped up with this powerful thought:
 
"Do what you have to do; in the end no one can mandate how you feel about your children, the ways you interact with them throughout the day, and the things you say and do that reflect who you are and what you believe about teaching and learning."
 
In a time of  many state and district mandates, this is something I need to remind myself of!  Don't forget to check out the posts from the weekly hosts for this chapter if you haven't already.
 
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