Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Talk so Kids can Learn


Entire Title:  How to Talk so Kids Can Learn at Home and in School
The Book I thought that I had purchased on my Kindle: How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will talk
Authors:  Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Pages:  266
Purchase Here:  Amazon
Or Purchase the Book I was wanting to read here:  Amazon

There is always something I can do better in my classroom.  Especially with classroom management. I am not hard-core strict; nor am I loosy goosy.  I like order, control and for my amazing lesson plans to work with all the kids in every classroom.  (Dream - I know.  But it's always worth striving for!)

I like that this book gives suggestions for how to think through what and how our words are used when talking with others.   You can say the same thing, but get a totally different response when words are used with thought and care; even in hard situations.

They used the ideas from a variety of experiences to create a realistic conversation between teachers/students/parents.  There were cartoon strips to demonstrate the point.  While some of it was like "um - right.  That is not where that conversation would end," there were some good ideas.

One of the things that stuck out to me were the quick reminder pages.

TO GET COOPERATION:
Instead of questioning and criticizing, you can:
1. Describe the problem.  "I see wet paint on the floor"
2.  Give information.  "It's easier to remove paint before it dries."
3.  Offer a choice.  "You can clean it up with a wet rag or damp sponge."
4.  Say it with a word or gesture. "The paint."
5.  Describe what you feel.  "I don't like seeing paint on the floor."
6.  Put it in writing.  ATTENTION ALL ARTISTS:  Kindly restore floor to original condition.
7.  Be playful.  (Sing a country-western song describing what you see)

TO ACKNOWLEDGE FEELINGS:
Instead of dismissing the child's feelings, you can:
1.  Identify their feelings.  "You sound disappointed.  It can be upsetting."
2.  Acknowledge their feelings with a sound or word.  "Oh." or "I see."
3.  Give the child in fantasy what you can't give them in reality.  "Wouldn't it be great to have a magic pencil that would stop writing if you were about to make a mistake?"
4.  Accept the child's feelings even as you stop unacceptable behavior.  "You're still so angry about that grade, you're kicking your desk.  Please choose to either tell me what's upsetting you.  Or draw it.  Or make a different choice."


HELPFUL PRAISE/CONSTRUCTIVE RESPONSES:
Instead of evaluating, you can:
1.  Describe what you see or hear.  "You caught the rhythm of a train and you found a way to rhyme track with clickety-clack."
2.  Describe what you feel.  "It makes me feel as if I can actually smell the flower!"

Instead of criticizing, you can:
1. Point out what needs to be done.  "All this poem needs is for the words caboose and freight to be spelled correctly and then we can hang it up on the board!"


FREEING A CHILD FROM PLAYING A ROLE (the gymnast/the smart one/the pretty one/etc..):
Instead of labeling a child, you can:

1.  Look for opportunities to show the child a new picture of herself/himself.  "What self control!  Even though you have a lot more to say, you realized that others need a chance to talk too."

2.  Put the child in a situation where she/he can see herself/himself differently.  "I'd like you to lead the class and make sure everyone gets to speak."

3.  Let the child overhear you saying something positive about him/her.  "She has so many great ideas."

4.  Model the behavior you'd like to see.  "I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to interrupt.  Please finish what you were going to say."

5.  Remind the child of her past accomplishments.  "I remember when we talked about the Civil War and you had great ideas."

6.  State your feelings and/or expectations.  "When other people are waiting to speak, I'd like you to keep your comments brief so others can share too."





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