Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SHH! This Is Not a Talking Time!

Picture this:

You walk into a Kindergarten classroom and all the children are sitting at their tables, doing their job, and no one is saying a word.
Ideal right?

I might go home with less headaches at the end of the day but... WRONG!

Providing opportunities for children to talk and develop language skills is a very important aspect of a child's literacy development. How can we achieve this if we continue to SHHush our students and limit their chances to speak to one another?

I can't tell you how many times a day I have said, "This is not a talking time!" to my students: walking in line, during writer's workshop, by-yourself reading time, calendar time, morning meeting, etc. So when are students talking? Only at snack, lunch and recess? YIKES!

In the past I once thought that "learning" couldn't possibly be going on in a noisy classroom and maybe there is some truth to that, but if I actually listen to the noise in the classroom during those "non-talking times," what do I hear? Hopefully, children engaging in conversations with one another, sharing ideas, and asking each other questions.

I recently read that children and teachers spend relatively little time (less than 17%) in classrooms engaged in conversations. These limited opportunities for children to talk and receive feedback ultimately limit students' literacy development.

Reading this frightened me and encouraged me to reflect on my own teaching. Am I doing all I can in my classroom to actually PROMOTE talking?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


We have been out of school for two days because of snow and where I live there just are not snow plows like Katy:

I have loved the excuse to eat chili all day, cozy up in front of the t.v. and do NOTHING... for TWO DAYS!

I woke up Tuesday morning and just like one of my Kindergarten students would, I ran right from bed to the window! It was snowing... really snowing. Thick, big flake snowing! And it was sticking to everything! Being from the south this is a special thing. My dog and I positioned ourselves on the window sill, I wrapped up in a blanket and just watched!

It is beautiful right?

Since I don't have children of my own I had to use my dog as an excuse to go outside to play. I (I mean she) had a great time.

I love snow, snow days, and I love that my students got two whole days to experience all the things I've been talking about when I taught them about the season of winter! It is a hard concept to grasp when you live down yonder in ole N.C. unless you're fixin to go to the mountains.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is There Anybody Still Out There?

My last post was seven months ago and ever since then I have wanted to continue blogging but I just wasn't finding the time. I think so much of my blogging last year was to avoid the real writing I should have been doing for National Boards and with no National Boards to work on (because I PASSED!!!) I just wasn't opening up my laptop as frequently. I also started teaching Kindergarten this year and was by no means prepared for how busy I would be: arriving early, staying late, professional development, parent workshops, etc. It has been like my first year teaching all over again. All excuses for my lack of blogging aside, I am writing this post to alert all my past readers (if any of you are even still checking my dusty, old blog) that now I have a reason to begin blogging again: I have started grad school!

So now I am motivated to begin my procrastination all over again, plus in this technology driven society we're in now, professors actually encourage (and assign grades to) blogging! I'm excited to be back in the blogging world!