April 11, 2016
When you think you can't go on...
8 more weeks...don't let the intensity fade...
Teachers get tired. We get sick of fighting the fight. Make no mistake about it, teaching feels like a battle. Not because we’re fighting students or each other but because of the intensity, focus, and persistence required just to make it through one day of this work. But, dear friends it is worth fighting. These kids are worth it. Keep going.
Monday, April 11
Kindergarten Safety Talks
Tuesday, April 12
Jillian OOB 9:15-10:45
Wednesday, April 13
Grade Level Meetings @ 8:05 a.m. (Grade Leader Classroom)
Half-Day Dismissal- 12:14
Afternoon PD for teachers 1:25-3:55 (Location: TBD)
Thursday, April 14
Weekly PD @ 8:05 am (Library)
Friday, April 15
Denim and Spirit Wear
Celebration for Amanda King @ 8:05 a.m. (Lounge)
April 28- Creative Arts Fair 5:00-7:00 p.m.
April 29- Grandparent's Day
2nd grade- 9:30-10:15
1st grade- 11:00-11:45
Notes and Other News...
- Attendance needs to be completed each morning.
- Please remember to sign up for a breakfast item to share on Friday morning during Amanda's celebration. A shower for Lindsay will be scheduled soon.
- Continue recording Parent Contacts on Google Form. Many have not been updated since early this fall.
- Submit your weekly newsletter via email (preferred).
- Learning Goals and Tracking Student Progress are embedded in your daily work. New teachers: speak with your mentors about this.
Why Some Students Are Silent in the Classroom
Silence in the classroom can be good and it can be bad, says Katherine Schultz (Mills College, CA) in this Educational Horizons article. Getting quiet is wonderful if a class has been rowdy, but silence in response to a teacher’s discussion question can bring a lesson to a grinding halt. Schultz says we may have notions of stereotypically silent students – timid girls and Asians or Native Americans – but should consider other reasons students don’t speak up:
- The student is shy at that particular moment.
- The student lacks the knowledge or facility in English to join in a group conversation.
- The student is following cultural norms of not speaking when there’s nothing to add.
- The student may be momentarily daydreaming.
- The student might be uncomfortable talking about the topic (race, for example).
- The student may need more time to think through an idea.
“Rapid-paced classrooms favor students who can respond quickly and accurately,” says Schultz; “other students may need time to reflect and the opportunity to try out ideas in small groups or through writing. Teachers may need to learn to read students’ nods and facial expressions to understand silence as a form of participation and to understand that students who are silent may be as engaged in learning as the student who speaks frequently, dominating the conversation.”
In her observations of classrooms, Schultz has come to appreciate students who are silent most of the time but have thoughtful comments that drive the discussion forward. This makes her wonder, “Do students have a responsibility to contribute to the silence of a classroom so that others can talk, along with a responsibility to contribute verbally to the discussion?”
Of course some students’ silence means they are opting out of participating in class and missing out on important learning opportunities. There are several techniques teachers use to get silent students talking and broadening class discussion:
• Cold-calling, which may increase the number of students who speak in a class – but doesn’t address the underlying issues that make some students silent.
• Having students turn and talk with a “shoulder partner”, or write silently for a few moments, before sharing thoughts in an all-class discussion. “Writing and talking informally may give students the courage they need for speaking aloud in class and provide them with practice and time to gather their thoughts,” says Schultz.
• Giving students a few moments to reflect and then going around the circle asking everyone to contribute a few words.
“The Role of Silence in Teaching and Learning” by Katherine Schultz in Educational Horizons, December 2012/January 2013 (Vol. 91, p. 22-25)