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.
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 28, 2009
Posted by Blair at 4:31 PM