• Stephanie Yewdell

A trip down memory lane: Part twelve

Thanks to Facebook memories, I was reintroduced to my first literacy blog I created for a grad school assignment. I am going to be reposting my old posts here. They are a reminder of why I became a teacher. They are a reminder of how I developed my teaching style. They are a reminder of my pedagogical philosophy. Many of the posts I have reread, still ring true to me and are embedded in my daily practice as a teacher.

Originally Posted on "I'm Making Readers & Writers For Life," September 27, 2012.

And so begins the trials and tribulations of student teaching. I may be exhausted, but I will reflect here....

Ok I am tired. Writing lesson plans and being creative was like pulling teeth (simile!). Writing that simile was easier than coming up with a lesson plan to teach both metaphors and similes. Maybe it is because TPA teaching is over, maybe it is because we are almost done at my current placement, or maybe I used up all my creative energy is why my lessons this week don’t feel good. However, I digress before I even start.

This week, I had a bit of a revelation with my teaching style and values. I see the merits of asking higher lever questions. Whys and Hows come out of my mouth more than I repeat directions. However, that is a close race, closer than November’s polls. While teaching a lesson this week, what I thought was a simple question was met with blank stares. The kind of stares that can burn a hole in you. The kind of stare where you ask yourself was I teaching a different class yesterday. The answer is no. I stumped them because I did not warm my students up. I honestly do not remember the question I asked but it was asked too soon. On Bloom’s taxonomy remembering is the base. It is what supports all other types of learning. We cannot analyze or apply unless we start by remembering. However, the way I was asking my students questions I had skipped straight into the race and forgot to stretch and warm up. So there I was fumbling with a torn ACL and no one to help me. Then I rewound and realized that brisk 5 minute walk or a question to access prior knowledge would prevent that Bill Bruckner moment. No it was not that embarrassing, more like missing a pop fly. While I spit out metaphor after metaphor, my thesis this week is that to be able to start asking those higher level questions I value so much I need to start with remembering questions. They are so important. It gives all students a chance to access the information. By accessing the remembering stage I can prime my students to use those higher level questions to enter their zone of proximal development. Then when we move onto those “tougher” questions my students will first be clued into what we are actually discussing and then they can fire synapses to create new connections and make meaning. Just like training for my 5K, I need to walk before jogging. With my future classroom, we need to remember before we can analyze. If we cannot remember how do we honestly know what we are discussing?

#Teaching #Education #Literacy


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