I know that I’m a day late to link up but sometimes life gets in the way! I am so excited to be a part of this book study with Elizabeth at Kickin’ It In Kindergarten and so many other inspiring bloggers. My goal for this book study was to not only read and understand Marcia Tate’s book, Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites, but to find ways to put her suggestions into practice in my own classroom. Worksheets do not foster independence, creativity, or higher level thinking and I am so glad this book was introduced to me to help validate that thinking!
Cracking open the book the first quote you see is,
They can’t talk in the hall.
They can’t talk in the cafeteria.
They can’t talk at all!
So stinkin’ true! Teachers talk ALL.THE.TIME. and our little ones, who need to constantly express themselves to help them comprehend, are not given the opportunity. I knew this book was for me right after seeing that.
I feel like I do a good job having my students participate and discuss with each other. BUT, I can definitely do better! My students turn and talk a great deal in my class but after reading this first chapter, I realize I need to have more tools given to them to guide their own conversations. I need to make a chart with sentence starters that the book suggests. For example..
I realize that…
I agree with ______ that _______.
I would like to add to ________’s idea.
I don’t understand what _________ meant when she said ___________.
Project #1 is definitely making a chart with these to help support my students while discussing!
I also realize that I let go of using Bloom’s Taxonomy to generate questions for my students. BIG NO NO! My graduate professors are shaking their heads at me! I know I need to lift my students from knowledge to apply and analyze.
I LOVE this chart from literacy guru, Jen Jones over at Hello Literacy. I used to have a flip book of different questions that correlate with each step in Bloom’s Taxonomy and I need to get that out again! I’ll show pictures of my flip book on the blog this week! You can find Jen’s posters on her teachers pay teachers page here, they’re definitely worth a purchase!
Even though I found the information in Strategy 1 so useful, I felt myself nodding along constantly during Strategy 2, Drawing and Artwork. Marcia clearly states that, “A person’s ability to draw and design serves them well in the real world. YES YES YES! I always felt like a terrible artist growing up, but I need to teach my students that it’s more important to try and create to express your opinions than having your art look PERFECT!
This year I have tried to give my students more time to create their own art. I love crafts and giving them patterns definitely makes my life easier, but seeing them create their own art is so rewarding! They are so proud afterwards!
I love using directed drawings after a unit of study in reading or social studies, but after reading this section I know I need to incorporate art into all areas! These are some examples of our directed drawings after learning about Martin Luther King Jr. I find my kids’ confidence soar when they’re completed!
After reading our story of the week this week about where food comes from, instead of having my students show their understanding on a worksheet I labeled posters of three main food groups and hung them around the room. My students were asked to design posters teaching about the foods from the story and where they come from. Their art, discussion, and team work was something for the books! Thank you Marcia Tate! I know I need to try this more with math and science. Those are definitely in the works!
I can’t wait to check out more bloggers ideas on these first two chapters! Stay tuned for more discussion to come in the next few weeks! Thank you Elizabeth for hosting!