A Debbie Miller Book Study

            This is the 7th week of A Modern Teacher! Yay!  I’m super excited about where this little blog is going and from your comments I am extremely happy that I can help.

            I have a lot in store for this little blog.  Thank you to all of those teachers who are following through Facebook and RSS feed.  Please connect so you don’t miss a thing. 

            About 10 days ago I started a book study.  And while I think the plan is good…I don’t think the time is right (so much to learn in this blogging world).  I don’t think you want to read anything right now.  I mean, who has the time?  I get that.  And unless you have the book at the school’s library, then you probably don’t want to buy one right now.  And I REALLY get that!

            So, I thought I would post some highlights of the book each week.  And then at the end of the book study, Jan. 29th, I’ll have a party favor.  A FREEBIE.  So, on to the notes:

            In the first two chapters, Ms. Miller really wants you to think about your classroom environment.  The culture of your classroom should be inviting and open.  Students feel free to make responses, questions, and observations….from the book and/or lesson and from each other.  However, Ms. Miller makes it clear that the ideal environment is not going to happen right away or within the first month of school…nope…it’ll take some time and lots and lots of modeling.

            Ms. Miller suggests that you develop some belief statements.  These statements come from research, your studies from college, observations, and experience.  Once you develop these belief statements, they need to be closely aligned with your classroom practices.  Look at everything you do.  Does it match your belief statements?  She says to ask yourself: “where’s the evidence of this belief in the classroom?”  At the end of the two chapters, she asks you to reflect on your day, what your kids are saying and what you have learned from their statements (either about their learning, your learning, your teaching, etc.).

            What I really got from these two chapters is to sit down and write up 4-5 belief statements that I have for my classroom, to think about my day and have these two closely align, and to reflect on the day every afternoon.  What worked?  What didn’t work? Where do I need to take them tomorrow?

            Here are my belief statements:

1.         Learning is fun, hands-on, with real-world applications.

2.       The classroom is organized, open, and purposeful.

3.        The gradual release of responsibility instructional model, integrated into a workshop format, best guides children toward understanding and independence (Pearson and Gallagher 1983).

4.       Assessments are informal and formal, ongoing to drive my instruction.     

This is just a great resource.  I highly suggest you checking it out from the library, borrowing it from someone, or even purchase it.  It’s probably the best money you’ve spent in a long time. 

            Today’s freebie gives a format to answer some questions about your teaching.  What are your belief statements?  Feel free to comment below.  You can get the freebie HEREGood luck and have a great week!