Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thinking and Thriving

I have blogged about this, briefly, in the past but found myself consumed by it this morning. As I was driving into work I asked myself, "Have I been walking my talk?" I feel like I can talk a good game about the Patterns of Thinking. I can answer questions, I can link the patterns to instruction, I can hold a relatively informed discussion about DSRP. But, am I doing in my classroom?

I decided that yes, I am, especially in Writing Workshop which is just storytelling right now. I don't want my kids to pick up a pencil to write stories until they understand what a story is. I have been using the idea that a story is made up of parts -- and I do this two ways. All stories have a beginning, middle, and an end. So when my students raise their hand to tell a story, I first ask them if their story has those three parts. We use the ThinkBlocks to give it a visual. After the student tells the story, I ask the class to tell me what happened in the beginning, middle and end. We use the small blocks for each part of the story. What accidentally happened was that my kids noticed that the really great stories, the ones that made us gasp or laugh, or both, had many more parts than the ones about going to the park, playing, then going home. Hooray! They just learned that details make for a better story.

I will continue to chew on this over the next few days because I feel as though I am using Patterns of Thinking language in my instruction but I am not really paying as close attention to it as I should. More soon....

P.S. Do you have great ideas for using Patterns of Thinking with K learners? Tell me please.

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