Don’t Take My Word For It…

I’ve been so so so so so fortunate to have the opportunity to write books with some amazing thinkers: Christine Hertz, Alison Porcelli, Cheryl Tyler, and Marjorie Martinelli. One of my favorite parts of writing is the research, and the way it can both answer questions and force you to ask more questions.

If I had one hope for the teaching world, it is that we maintain our curiosity about kids and teaching. I just watched Smokey Daniels lead these incredible mini-inquiries at a workshop at the Reading for The Love of It Conference, and it got me thinking, our best teaching also comes from these mini inquiries born of passions. So, in a an effort to help all educators find their curiosity, I am linking to a bunch of articles and posts that have provoked me over the past few years. Happy reading!

Jo Boaler’s amazing website: Brain science, articles for parents, videos, free resources- its a veritable playground. I am maybe obsessed with the belief/brain article.

Reading Readiness Has to Do with the Body: If there is one thing that has stopped me in my tracks lately, it is this article. It has pushed me on my latest  question which is, should we be waiting to teach formalized reading (while still doing lots of read alouds, writing, shared reading, play) I mean like guided reading in leveled books, until kids express a genuine interest? I could write a 700 page book on the pros/cons of that idea and it just needs more thinking and personal play around it.

This Peter Gray article on Risky Play: Boy oh boy. As some of you know, I have a book coming out on play in about 6 weeks, but articles like this still push my thinking about how I look at play- ESPECIALLY the kind that makes adults the most uncomfortable.

Read Alouds with Diverse Characters help Build Empathy: There is a similar article that talks about Harry Potter, but it really pushes me to explore my read alouds. The implicit messages in books, especially in the background and in the pictures, are not something I always deeply look at, but I am trying to now.

How Books Influence our Actions: This sort of goes in a text set with the above one, but the idea that we act like characters we read about makes perfect sense when you pair it with the idea that our brains can experience story as reality.

The Importance of Giving Kids Time to Reflect: This got me thinking: don’t spend so much time reteaching, spend more time reflecting. Less is more!!!!

Why Are We Rewarding With Stickers Anyway? This study talks about how children are more motivated by knowledge than stickers. So you know…. save some money to spend on important stuff- like books and blocks.

Our Talks leads to children’s Self-Talk, it MATTERS: I mean, this whole thing is super fascinating to me- how our internal thinking develops. And the fact we can watch it developing in real time in our kids. I mean, whoa

Make Sure Your Teaching Has PURPOSE! But how do we do this all the time? Thats the mini inquiry I have on this topic.

Okay, I am off to get ready to present today. I hope that some of these articles are new to you and you find something in them that fires your brain up. Do as Smokey did- invite a few colleagues to think with you- ask some questions, investigate more, inquire, PLAY, stay curious. Every single teaching decision I am proud of started first as a question/uncertainty. Share your questions and favorite links in the comments!!!

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Take My Word For It…

  1. Hi Kristi, I really enjoyed meeting you at the conference. I have your Mindset book and am eager to start implementing some new ideas into my classroom. I will also be checking out the links above. Christine M

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