Roger Klinger, Grade 3 Champlain Elementary
Culturally Responsive Teaching is Holding All Kids to High Expectations
How do you communicate high expectations for all students throughout the school day? In your classroom, for whom is positive attention and affirmation particularly important?
Roger Klinger - High Expectations, Building Community, and Accountable Talk
Roger is using the Engage NY ELA Grade 3 Module 1 to teach students about access to books in different parts of the world as he sets his expectations for Readers' Workshop. This rich, integrated unit begins with anchor texts including Rain School by James Rumford, The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter, and My Librarian is a Camel: How Books are Brought to Children Around the World by Margriet Ruurs. As Roger shares these read-alouds with his students, he fosters a sense of respect for people in different parts of the world, guides children to make connections between their own lives and the lives of the children in the texts, and encourages his students to consider the perspectives of people whose lives are different than theirs.
Mr. Klinger holds all his students to high expectations, communicating his sincere belief that each and every one of them are capable of success and responsible for contributing to the class discussions in meaningful ways. He explains "full-body listening" by asking them, "What's going to be happening in your head? Thinking! What's going to be happening in your heart? Caring!" This call and response between Roger and his students reinforces the fact that learning can look different for each child, but that he has expectations for everyone's active engagement.
In Roger's classroom, there is an entry point for every child. As questions come up, he validates their thoughts but doesn't always answer. He encourages them to keep thinking and embrace a growth mindset. Roger is a master of "wait time," posing a question, waiting while they think, than asking them to "turn and talk" to their peers. In this way, students are accountable to each other. Peers depend on each other to stay engaged and make meaning of these complex texts together. Roger prompts them as he models a "close read," encouraging them to figure out what unfamiliar vocabulary words mean by talking in small groups. Roger fosters a sense of respect and interdependence in his classroom.