Choice Words by Peter H. Johnston

Educational Internship Program Book Study

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Review of Choice Words

I chose to read Choice Words by Peter H. Johnston because I'm always wanting to learn the most affective ways to talk to students. The way you talk to your students has the biggest impact on them. It can motivate them and lift them up or it can discourage them and knock them down.

Johnston's book is about word choice and how it affects children's learning. Throughout the book he pulls examples of word choice out of different books and explains why we should or should not use these phrases when teaching. Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a specific type of language. For example, chapter three is dedicated to phrases that help students create an identity.

How does Choice Words impact me as a learner?

As a learning teacher in EIP this book makes me think more before I speak to some of my students. A lot of my first graders are very sensitive when it comes to words and because of this I oftentimes have to be very careful about my language. I'm learning to ask questions that will make them think about what they're learning and how they're learning it such as, "How did you figure that out?". I've learned that quite a few of my students love to explain things. As a learning teacher, Choice Words, has taught me to ask those students questions and to let them fully explain themselves and their thinking. Many students have a lot of potential, but it takes the right kind of language between them and the teacher to tap into it.


1. How do you engage a student who isn't outwardly affected by language?

2. Positive language is important, but where do you draw the line on when more negative language is needed?