|Day 3 of 31 posts for the Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by the team at Two Writing Teachers, Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Beth.|
Head over to the link up for seconds or to serve up your own slice!
What it would take to get one-hundred percent of the students in my class to ____ (fill in the blank).
How can I be sure that students are able to _____.
Because being able to_____ is the point of teaching. I teach students how to do things. I teach them how to appreciate literature. I teach them how to read to solve problems, to entertain themselves, to investigate issues. I teach students how to write a letter of appreciation that will make a mother (or teacher) cry. I teach students to write argument, to write analysis, to write to plan and write to learn. I teach students how to listen and to talk.
In my classroom I want the world for my students. In order to get that, they need to become critically literate. They need to be able to flexibly use the language arts to suit particular purposes, occasions, tasks, even demands. I want students to be able to summarize objectively and respond personally or aesthetically to a text. I want students to be able to tell and write good stories because story is central to the human experience. So many things I want for the students in my classroom.
What would it take to get one-hundred percent of my students to read a text and take notes in order prepare for a Socratic discussion? Is that a homework question, a reading question or some combination? What would it take to get one-hundred percent of my students to demonstrate an understanding of theme?
It takes work. It takes movement. It takes hands-on deck, talk and practice. It takes me walking around and talking to individual students or small groups. It takes me knowing which students know what. Sometimes it takes extra time. Sometimes it take reteaching the moment something is due.
Instructional routines help me give students time and opportunity in class, but they can't be so rigid that when I notice a need I don't shift to meet the need.
Sometimes I think about Wayne Gretzy. He said "You miss one-hundred percent of the shots you don't take." I can't assess nonperformance. It can't be right to assign it a failing grade, but at the same time at what point does the clock run out?
|Image credit: Montreal Gazette.|
Am I asking students to comply or learn? I wonder sometimes. Still, how can I help students take that shot? Those are instructional questions I'm thinking about right now.