I wasn’t active here for a while thanks to a series of negative emails. I thought of what we teach our kids when they face a bully. The steps start with saying, “Stop now.” ‘Nuff said, except that I realized what happens when an environment gets toxic. Positive strokes work best. See Laurie Clarcq’s new coaching method as an example!
I would like to share a couple of Eureka moments.
Eureka #1: Another Embedded Reading idea.
Advanced students were finishing testing. I gave them links to passages I wanted to use later in a unit. I asked them to copy/paste a paragraph at a time, then read and cut out whatever they didn’t understand. Instead, one student highlighted. What a huge help! I used the resulting color-coded text as a baseline from which to start scaffolding. My kids rock.
Eureka #2, the power of being positive.
I was learning Salish with a group of Salish teachers in the Kalispel Tribe northeast of Spokane, trying not to be intimidated by greeting and using names in Salish, but it was obvious that my pronunciation left a lot to be desired. Then, after a 20-30 minute coaching session during which all we did was discuss who wanted coffee and tea, I could suddenly say several sentences in a row. The group vigorously applauded me. After that, all I wanted to do was use my limited Salish. A little bit of positive goes a long way, as does realizing you’re taking steps on the journey.
Another Eureka: the assembled teachers understood the power of meaning-based circling. Students acquire language!