Saturday, September 10, 2016

Listening {Celebrate this Week}

This week I'm celebrating taking the time to listen to my students.

I just completed my fourth week of school.  If you are in education you know all about the hustle and bustle of starting a new school year.  Each year things increase.  Each year crazy things are thrown at us that are nonnegotiable.  Each year there is a lot of self talk; get off this bus, slow down, and get back to what you know works.  Well, I can't completely get off the bus because I have to turn in the scores from three one minute probes to determine a child's fluency online and big brother is watching but what I can do is sit with my students.  I can ask them questions about their reading lives.  I can probe for more insight.  I can listen.  When I chose to listen, I found personality, honesty, warmth, and love in these new students; a formula for learning.

Do you have a favorite author?  Explain.
     I don’t really know much authors, I have this friend George he works at the library close to my house and I don’t know if he makes books but he is funny and a nice guy.

How do you feel about reading?
     bored sometimes, I find a lot of books I don’t like

What kinds of books do you like to read?
     Puff the Magic dragon, it’s a family favorite

Where do you read at home?
     I like to read in my room, it’s really quiet or outside

What was your last favorite book?  Explain
     I don’t really have one because I will technically read anything.


  1. What a wise teacher these students have, one who listens not with just her ears, but her heart too. I bet they will have a favorite book and author by the end of the year.

    1. When I got these responses, I did think - we got this. Finding authors and favorite books is one of my specialities. :)

  2. Yes, after the one-minute probes, you can start to listen to the "rest of the story", Mandy. Love that you shared some of their answers.

  3. I love that last response - no there is a reader open to the magic of books!

  4. If you have time, here's a TED Radio hour podcast all about listening. You'll love it.

    Stay the course. Do what you are mandated, then take joy in the things you know have real power.

    1. Thanks for the podcast, Mary Lee. I'll find time for it.

  5. I cherish that time to sit and talk to kids about who they are as readers. Taking this time to really get to know our students is so important to the future work we will do in the school year. That last response just made me smile.

  6. Teaching with your head and heart -- your students are very lucky that you can do both. I love the last question and answer too. It made me think of a few of my most voracious readers too.