Saturday, March 03, 2018

31 Teaching Truths

Photo by Fischer Twins via Unsplash

3. Follow your students.

There are definitely times when a teacher needs to lead, but some of my most powerful teaching has been when I got out of the way, and when I followed. Or when I really listened to my students.

Early in the year, I started pointing out patterns or math equations in the date. My students see these number patterns everywhere now. And all. the. time. (I have to remind myself that I have created this "monster," so I shouldn't get annoyed.)

We have a place on a bulletin board for Homographs, Homophones and Homonyms. Noticing words has also taken off like wildfire. They know they don't have to ask permission to grab a sticky and put one up, but they still tell me when they find one. At dismissal yesterday, looking out to see if it was still raining, "Ooh! Sprinkle like what the rain does and sprinkle -- the thing on a donut!"

On Friday, we talked about how writers challenge themselves in order to become better writers. I told them about this March challenge I've given myself to warm up for the April Poem-A-Day challenge. The words were no sooner out of my mouth than the student (who earlier had pointed out that INVISIBILITY is important in our new read aloud, Walk Two Moons, just like it had been important in REFUGEE. Um...Wow...) said, "There's 30 days in April and there's 29 of us -- 30 if we count you -- so you should just write a poem a day about US!"

And you know what? I think I will.


  1. What a great idea! I can't wait to read your daily poems about your students. I'm impressed that you consider the Slice Challenge a warm up--it's the marathon for me! lol

  2. Love This! Your classroom environment is poetic, Mary Lee. I wonder what your students will think of the words you choose regarding them...And I wonder if they will want to write their own poems? 29 poems about their teacher--Or maybe a line each for a group poem about you? So many possibilities...I would bet you would have some eager participants.

  3. "The Current Fifth Grade of Daniel Dublin Elementary School"


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