Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Positive Classroom


I've been at Common Core Training for RLA all day today. Fun, fun! ;) We did Common Core last year so I think I've got a pretty good handle on it, but am so thankful to have training. I've heard that many districts are struggling because they've had no training and have no idea what they are doing.

We've heard some staggering statistics! I left my book at the training since I'll be there the next 2 days, but one I remember is that the vocabulary a student has in 1st grade directly correlates with Reading Comprehension in 11th grade! There were LOTS of other things like that. It's amazing how what children are learning and doing, even as early as 3, can impact their lives so much later. Teachers have super powers! We can make such a difference, especially in 1st grade. I love my job!

So we talked today about talk in the home from the time a child is young. There's some crazy numbers about how much talking is done and how that effects student learning, especially in Reading. They are all connected. What I found interesting is the positive affirmation part of it. In a home where most of the talk is "business talk " like "get down from there", "clean that up", etc., positive affirmations are barely higher than the negatives the children hear. In homes with a lot of talking, that number is greatly increased. Children hear much more affirmations than negatives. I was thinking about that in the classroom. We have a lot of business talk, but do our positive affirmations outweigh the negatives or the typical classroom talk that goes on?

What are some positive affirmations you use in your classrooms? We talked about things like "Kiss your brain", classroom cheers, etc. One of my favorites is "You're a smart cookie!" Whenever one of my kiddos gives an out of this world response, especially if it surprises me with their smart thinking, I tell them that they are a smart cookie and they get to pick a cookie (Famous Amos) out of my cookie jar. It's small, but they LOVE it and try hard to really think about their answers. I love it and they love it! So tell me some of the cool things you do to keep a positive classroom. There might be a positive affirmation freebie coming up on my Facebook page as soon as I get it up and running. :) Hint, hint. Go like my page!

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Be Fun and Fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

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