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Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites: Chapters 1 & 2 LOTS OF PICTURES & EXAMPLES

bookstudy

I'm linking up with Elizabeth from Kickin' It in Kindergarten for this book study post.
As I'm reading this book I constantly find myself nodding, Yes!  and writing in the margins of the book.  So far this book is really solidifying my Teaching Philosophy.  I've always been a HUGE believer in giving students the opportunities to turn and talk.  When students are given the opportunities to put what they've learned into their own words it solidifies their thinking and learning and they stand a much better chance of remembering what we want them to know.







Assign kids partners and have them turn eye to eye and knee to knee to think-pair-share.


Sit on the floor with your kids and have them sit around the perimeter of the rug so that you can all see the face of the person who is talking.  Notice my little guy playing with his shoe laces.  Do you think the fact that he is sitting right next to me is a coincidence? ;)

Here are a few things that I've always done in my classroom to give the kids opportunities to brainstorm and discuss.



1.  SCHEMA Charts-  I first blogged about these charts in 2010 after  I read the book,  Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller and she talks about how she uses schema folders with upper grade students to track their learning.  I wanted to find a way to use these in a grade level appropriate way with my Kinder babies so I started creating them on large charts as a whole group activity with my students.
This is how they work:
When we are going to start a NEW topic we first start by recording our Schema (What do we THINK we already know about this topic?)
The students tell me their Schema as I record it on a post it note.  ALL Thinking is valued so everyone's thinking is placed on the chart even if I know it isn't true about what we're learning (you'll understand why in just a bit).  Next,  throughout the week as we read and learn new things we record our NEW LEARNING on the chart.  I like to use a different colored post it because sometimes our New Learning connects with our Schema and I like to tag them together so we can see that.  
As we are reading and learning new things we might find out that what we thought we knew isn't true so it gets moved to the Misconceptions box.  Are you still with me? :)


The key to this is to make sure that the first few times you do these YOUR THINKING ends up in the Misconceptions Box.  This sets the tone and lets your students know that it is okay to take RISKS.  Even the teacher doesn't know everything!
These charts are so powerful!


This is a fancier chart I did when we learned about Bats.
For some reason I didn't use two different colors to chart our learning.
Do you see the difference?
 Being able to SEE the connections is really important.
Note to Self: Don't make that mistake again. :)





Another thing that I love to do is THINK MATH.  I started doing this sometime in 2009 and my kids love it every year!  I start by giving them the answer to the problem and they use Mental Math to try and come up with as many problems as they can.  I want everyone to be successful so there are two lifelines built in:  Ask a Teacher or Phone a Friend.  So, if I call on a student and they aren't able to generate a problem they can use a lifeline.  If they use a lifeline the helper can give them ONE number to help get them started.  I want everyone to do their own thinking so they aren't given the answer.  They are just given a little bit of support.



Bloom's Taxonomy Visual






 I've also always been a firm believer in the creation of art work and projects.  Many times other teachers and administrators see this sort of thing as "fluff" because they don't realize that there is research that supports the importance of giving students  opportunities to create.  I'm not talking about cookie cutter craft projects.  I'm talking about projects that require students to use shapes to draw or create and  think spatially.

Directed drawing of the Statue of Liberty


Cutting shapes by listening and following directions


Drawing and writing in response to Literature




Haha!!  No!  Everything that is a printable doesn't automatically fall into the worksheet category.  
Let me show you the difference.

These are WORKSHEETS.  The Learning is at the lowest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.
Don't be fooled.  Using a spinner and dice on a worksheet is STILL a WORKSHEET.
Worksheets have a place (I usually send them home for homework) but they shouldn't be used in a classroom too often because they don't really require the kids to do very much thinking or creating on their own. Your struggling students probably wouldn't be able to be successful with some of these worksheets independently and your higher level learners would blow through them so fast! Worksheets are at the lowest level of learning on the Bloom's Taxonomy list. Their main purpose for the higher level students is just to keep them busy.   Think about it.  Most of these would take all of about 5-10 minutes to complete and in the end have your kids had to really do very much thinking?

The examples below are RECORDING SHEETS rather than a worksheet.
The students are working at a Higher level of Bloom's Taxonomy and they are recording their own drawings and thoughts on paper.  Do you see the difference? Even though the students are working on a higher level of Bloom's  All students can be successful because they are recording their own thinking and learning.



Whew!!! I'm not usually so wordy in my blog posts! I've covered a lot of information but I hope it was somewhat helpful!

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to respond to each and every one of them!

Join us for the other chapters in this book by following the list below.


Link up (click on the blue button) and prepare for your chapter 3 discussion over at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten on Tuesday! Here is the rest of the schedule and you can join in at anytime!

Queen of the First Grade Jungle Chapter 4 (March 10th)
Fabulous in First  Chapter 5 (March 14th)
One Extra Degree Chapter 6 (March 17th)
Mrs. Jump’s Class Chapter 7 (March 28th)
The First Grade Parade  Chapter 8 (March 31st)
In April, you will be visiting these girls for the remainder of the study:
Mrs. Ehle’s Kindergarten Chapter 9 &10 (April 4th)
What The Teacher Wants Chapter 11 (April 7th)
First Grader At Last Chapter 12 (April 11th)
Erica’s Ed Ventures  Chapter 13 (April 14th)
KinderGals Chapter 14 &15 (April 18th)
A Rocky Top Teacher Chapter 16 (April 21st)
The Inspired Apple Chapter 17 (April 25th)
Little Warriors Chapter 18 (April 28th)
Falling Into First Chapter 19 (May 2nd)
Kickin’ it in Kindergarten Chapter 20 (May 5th)
If you are not a blogger (which is totally fine!!!) we still want to hear from you! Leave a comment below to let us know how you are incorporating this book in your classroom!





63 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the thought worthy description of these chapters. This helps validate some of the good things we are doing in our classrooms, as well as share new ideas to get us thinking!

    Renee from the Scienc School Yard

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    1. Hi Renee, You are so welcome! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and read the post. I really appreciate it!

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  2. I had the pleasure of hearing Marcia Tate in person at CTA's Summer Professional Development Institute 2 summers ago!! She rocked it!! I loved her style, thoughts, and downright honest approach to learning! Perfect tie in with GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) with the color coding of information after reviewing and coming back day 2 and so on. Great post! Can't wait for Chapter 3!

    Susan
    LopezLandLearners

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    1. HI Susan, Thank you so much for your comment! You've made me want to go and see her in person. I love the GLAD strategies. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. This is what I've been waiting on today!!! The book is a great read and there have been some other great posts, but I wanted to see examples in pictures. I'm a visual learner LOL! My kinder kiddos love to turn and talk and they LOVE LOVE LOVE directed drawings. It's so refreshing to know I don't have to feel guilty about spending time on the arts! Thank you for the wonderful ideas ... I need to do more of the Think Math!

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    1. HI Christie, Thanks so much for the comment. I'm a visual learner as well and if you don't throw some pictures in there you're probably going to lose me. :)

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  4. Deanna Jump, you are AMAZING!!! You are so in tune to how little learners think and learn. You also know how to make content meaningful and exciting for your students. You continue to inspire and make me a better teacher. Love you big!

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    1. Gah! You almost made me cry! Thank you so much for the sweet comment. This book is amazing and I'm so glad we decided to do this book study. Love you too, friend!

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  5. I'm always blown away by your ideas and insights!! Thank you so much for sharing! I love the distinction you made between worksheets and recording sheets. I also love the idea of posting a copy of Blooms Taxonomy in the classroom.. such a great idea to ensure the higher level thinking skills are being covered each day. Can't wait to do this.

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    1. Wow! Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my post and leave a comment!

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  6. I tried directed drawing for the first time this year. My students LOVE it! Our art teacher retired last year, and our district chose not to replace her, so we are on our own for the first time for art. This reminds me that it is ok to take time to do meaningful art with my students. Thanks for sharing!

    Amanda
    A Very Curious Class

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    1. Amanda, It's so sad that some school districts have decided that Art isn't valuable enough to warrant a teacher. :( I'm so glad that you are stepping in and Art to your routine!

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  7. I couldn't help but be wordy about this book - I could have kept going! I like how you talked about the difference worksheet and a recording sheet. I also agree that worksheets have their place. As with anything, it's about moderation - right? Now, if only I could figure that out with chocolate!

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

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    1. Holly, I agree!! I just love this book and I could go and on. I feel like I really need to go back and do a post on the Introduction because there was SO much GOOD stuff in there! I'll probably try and do that sometime this week. I loved reading your post!!

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  8. I am so excited about this book study!!!! I loved reading your post and I love your directed art drawings. That is something that I am planning to try with my kindergarten friends this month because I keep seeing so many posts about them and how great they are! I love how you distinguish between a worksheet and a recording sheet! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    recipeforteaching

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    1. HI Heather, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it! Your little ones will LOVE directed drawing and after you've done a few you will notice a HUGE difference in their independent drawing as well. As for the worksheets/recording sheet issue I thought it was important to make that distinction because I don't think a lot of teachers realize that their is a big difference between the two. Enjoy your weekend! I just followed you on Insta! :)

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  9. Love your post! Love it so much I just ordered the book from Amazon!

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    1. Yay!!! I'm so glad it prompted you to order the book. You will not be sorry! It is an easy but thought provoking read!

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  10. What a great post! I really love your idea of using the Misconceptions Box with your Schema Charts. Setting up an environment where it's okay to take risks is so crucial to establishing a classroom where everyone is learning all the time. I also appreciate the distinction you made between worksheets and recording sheets. Good point!
    Linda
    Primary Inspiration



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    1. Hi Linda, Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. The misconceptions box is so important because it allows for everyone's thinking to be recorded on the chart. Then as we learn new information we continue to read back through our Schema to determine which things are true and which things should be moved to the Misconceptions box. If you've never read the book, Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller I highly recommend it!

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  11. I love everything about this post! You are amazing!!!

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    1. That means a lot coming from you, Amy Lemons!!! Right back at ya!!!

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  12. Love these ideas! As a new teacher I am constantly looking for ways to improve my teaching, so this really helps :). I was wondering if you consider Reader's response graphic organizers to be worksheets? I use these quite a bit to support comprehension, but don't want the, to be busy work. Thank you!!!!

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    1. Hi Alyssa, No! Those are great ways for kids to record their thinking and learning. Worksheets are basically things that don't really require the kids to add THEIR thinking. With worksheets there is ONE RIGHT answer and that's it! A recording sheet is open ended and can have multiple answers because no two kids think and record their learning exactly the same way. Reading Response sheets and graphic organizers are a wonderful teaching tool! I hope that helps. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!

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  13. I love how you clearly showed how there is a place for worksheets when used thoughtfully and purposefully. Not just busy work. Excited to join in the book study.

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    1. Hi Sylivia, Thanks so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. :)

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  14. I love your post and the way you have broken down each chapter. Makes me want to kick myself for getting distracted and not hitting the purchase button. The book has been sitting in my Amazon cart for two weeks (where did the time go?). It is on its way now. I can't wait until it gets here and I read for myself!!

    Elizabeth Hall has it right you are so in tune with how little learners learn. I love hearing your perspective. I love that you included pictures of how this would look in a classroom. The visual is so helpful. I am also a great believer in art and hands on experiences (in every grade). It is validating to know I am on the right track.

    Terri

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    1. HI Terri, Thanks so much for reading my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I'm so glad you ordered the book. You will be able to catch up in no time at all because the chapters are fairly short and they are an easy read. I love this book and you will too!

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  15. Deanna, this post and Elizabeth's are so motivating to read! I love having the validation for doing crafts and art projects with my students. And I especially love the distinction between worksheets and response sheets. This book is definitely prompting some serious reflection and for that I am so thankful!

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    1. HI Holly, Thank you so much for your kind words. You are so right! I've always believed in the importance of doing art projects and now I have a wealth of research to back it up! I'm so glad you are enjoying the book study. I love books that not only validate what I already do but also give me lots of new strategies to use in the classroom.

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  16. Your artwork using shapes reminds me of TLC Lessons. I use TLC lessons to create artwork and class books. The book study post just encouraged me to buy the book! Headed to purchase the book study book now. Thank you.

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    1. Hi There, Yes!!! I heard of TLC lessons when I first started teaching. After doing a few of their projects I started creating my own based on the things I wanted to do in my classroom. The great thing about teaching the kids to make projects by cutting shapes in squares is that by Spring they can also start to create their own projects without any direction from you. I am not a fan of projects that have templates (in my units I try to provide a little of both because I know most teachers like them) because there is a lot more learning involved when the student's are listening and following directions and actually creating the project themselves.

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  17. Hi Deana,
    I totally agree with you on the difference in worksheets. There's always going to be paper in a classroom. Students need a place to record their thinking and keep track of their learning. Some of it is going to have to be on paper. I love how you use the different color post-it notes on your charts. What a great way to draw students' attention to the chart. Also love the misconceptions box. I'm learning so many great ideas!
    Joya :)

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    1. HI Joya, Thanks so much for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. I'm so glad that you are enjoying the book study. You're right! We are always going to have paper activities in our classrooms, but I think it is important for us to make sure that the purpose is for recording learning rather than just keeping students busy. Try the schema charts! You will be amazed at the thinking that's shared and your students will use the chart as a resource in their writing as well. They are so powerful!

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  18. Such a great post! I was interested in reading this book, but wasn't sure when I would get to it. So glad to see I can follow along with all of you. My two big take-aways from your post was using post-its with different colors on the schema charts. That was just brilliant, and I just love how it shows students that even when they think they "know" something, there is always more details to be found (this could help out in writing later, I think). Also, I really liked your explanation distinguishing worksheets from thinking sheets. (Mostly, I was relieved to find that I don't really use a lot of "worksheets" in my classroom. But, I do provide lots of space and time to wonder, justify, and share their thinking. Which was a "hooray" for me.) Thank you so much for this book study! Can't wait to follow along.

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    1. Hi Nicole, Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it! I'm so glad this post was helpful for you. IF you get a chance to read the book I highly recommend it. The chapters are fairly short, but it is an easy read that is packed with great information on "best practicies."

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  19. Worksheets have a place in classroom. When we teach we should teach from basic to complex. Worksheets are a way to show understaning of a skill not mastery. Creating is the highest level of Bloom's Taxonomy and if a student can't complete a worsheet on a skill then he/she will not be able to create a product to show mastery of that skill.

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    1. I think you might have missed the point of the post. I teach from basic to complex but I would rather give my students hands on experiences to develop a concrete understanding of what I'm teaching them rather than the abstract experience of filling in blanks on a worksheet. I think it all depends on the type of worksheet being used. For example, in our Math units that we created we teach a mini lesson, provide them with HANDS ON practice for that skill and then follow up with a worksheet to practice the skill. What I'm talking about here are worksheets like I show in the picture that are just used to keep the students busy. BIG difference!!

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  20. I enjoyed reading your post! A long time teacher of 20 years, I have not been able to give up the "arts and crafts" in my classroom. Your blog has touched my heart as well as inspired me to learn more about "free draw" in order to give kids more 'ownership' of their art. Where can I find out more about this? I also loved seeing the pictures of how you incorporate higher thinking levels in your classroom! I will be making a change to my KWL chart to include MISCONCEPTIONS. I also look forward to trying out THINK MATH. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

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    1. Hi There, I'm so glad to hear that you haven't given up arts and crafts!! There is so much research that states the importance of incorporating art in the classroom. There are lots of websites that have directed drawing projects. If you google directed drawing for kindergarten you will find lots of sites. Once you have done a few you will easily be able to come up with your own based on what your teaching. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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  21. I really enjoyed reading your review and the activities that you do in your class. I try to fit in as many art projects and response sheets as I can, but it's difficult being departmentalized. I have only 1 hour for ELA classes. Same with science/social studies-want to do my projects, but with only 15 min. set aside in our day, it's just not possible when some kiddos take forever just to cut something out. Unfortunately, our district has the philosophy to use worksheets as instruction, doing them together on the smartboard.

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  22. I really enjoyed this blog. I am not a fan of worksheets, but wasn't sure how to make them better. I really like the idea of response sheets. Before I read your post I would have seen those as worksheets also, but now I understand the difference. My only question is how do you grade response sheets? In my district we are required to keep grades in a grade book and they are part of our report card.

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  23. I love your schema charts. It is a good twist on the KWL chart. I really like that it points out misconceptions instead of just skipping over that and adding new learning. Great idea!

    Also, thanks for your comparison of a worksheet and a recording sheet. I think there is a misconception about everything printed being a worksheet. But you are right, you can definitely use a piece of paper to convey higher order thinking...some might call it a worksheet but it is so much more.

    Great post, I'm really enjoying this book study.

    Sara
    Sara J Creations

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  24. Thanks for the detailed post, I enjoyed reading about your schema chart. We do a lot of brainstorming in my TK class and I try to put it on the white board, that way when we find something that we wrote was a "misconception" than we erase it, but I love the post it notes idea. That way at the end of the unit we can go back and see what we thought we knew, what we did know, and what we realized was a misconception. Great idea!! Thanks!!!

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    1. HI Michelle, Putting their schema on the whiteboard and erasing Misconceptions is a great way to add variety! I love it!!! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it!

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  25. Love those pictures. I spent the majority of my time with my kids on the carpet in a circle. You just feel like a big old family. I really need to do more think math. Love it girl! And I totally agree, recording sheets and reader's response are very different than a worksheet. Worksheets do have a place, but like you said, home is the place for those. Love you and can't wait until you are back in the classroom so we can see more amazing from you.

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    1. MIchelle, I just adore you!!! Can't wait to see you in Vegas.

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  26. I loved your post! The point you made about spatial awareness stood out to me! This is such an important skill, and it's so fun to see their projects when they make their own shapes versus cutting from templates. I loved reading about the other benefits of creating. It ties in well with Webb's Depth of Knowledge and your Guiding Readers units which do an amazing job of hitting those higher levels of thinking with young ones! This week I will focus on getting my kinders turning and talking to solidify that thinking. Thank You!!! <3

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    1. HI Sarah, Yay!!! I'm so glad this post helped you. Giving kids the opportunities to Turn and Talk is so powerful. You will just need to have a signal to let them know that it's time to stop talking a face you. I usually clap a pattern that they can clap back and that's their signal that sharing time is over. I can't wait to hear your thoughts once you start doing this. Have a great week!

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  27. This is wonderful! I need to purchase this book! I teach 4th grade and I feel guilty if I do an art project with them because I feel it is not "rigorous" enough and it won't prepare them for the standardized test. But there is much more to life than the standardized testing! Thank you for sharing this! :)

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    1. Hi Liz, Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. Here is a bit more research from the book about art: "Different areas of the brain, including the amygdala and the thalamus, are activated when students are involved in art activities." (Jenson, 2001) "Having students add drawings or doodles to their notes helps them comprehend and encode new content for later recall." (Allen, 20018) The success of the mathematician and scientist is because of skills taken from the tools of the artist such as accurate observation, spacial thinking and kinesthetic perception." (Sousa, 2006).

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  28. omgosh - YES! The art isn't fluff - I say this ALL the time!!!

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    1. You're right. We're losing too much of what once made children feel creative and good about themselves. The work of "multiple intelligences" is so smart and we need to make sure our classrooms are honoring all sorts of learners. Art, music, movement, hands-on-sometimes-messy activities... it's tricky trying to protect what we KNOW works for kids while navigating current policy and assessment trends.

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  29. I try to incorporate art as much as possible in class, even in third grade when we are preparing for test prep. They're always drawing solutions in math. Great post Deanna!

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    1. Thanks so much for the sweet comment! Yay for you!!! I'm so glad that you still incorporate art in third grade! I know third grade is super stressful because my daughter teaches third but it is so important to find time to give them those experiences.

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  30. I enjoyed reading your post and seeing the visual examples you provided! I just received my book, skimmed and had a few "aha" thoughts. However, it's almost as if you did a close read of the book and pulled more meaning and examples from the text, LOL! Great post, it really brought the chapters to life for me!
    Sebrina
    Burke's Special Kids

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    1. HI Sebrina, Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I'm so glad my post helped! You will love this book!

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  31. Wow! Awesome post! I am not in the classroom this year. I am the LT for my school's afterschool program (STEAM) so I write the tutorial lesson plans for grades 2nd-8th. It can be challenging at times to make the most out 30mins. Thank you:) This was very helpful!

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    1. Wow!! That sounds like my dream job!!! I hope you are enjoying every minute of it!

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  32. I'm partial to this post and I literally read every comment. I'm so glad to see large groups of people talking about what works and what doesn't. I worry about our children and the effect this crazy test-driven era will have on their self-esteem and their futures. Mindless worksheets fall into this category for me. I saw early on the effect they had on my own children when they were little and I've committed to keep that in perspective as I plan for my own students. I pray we are creating places where children want to come to school, are challenged to engage and think critically, and know they are valued for their ideas. They will never know these things if they only have a steady diet of worksheets. Great post! :)

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  33. I LOVE that you sit on the floor with your students. It's my favorite thing about working with little ones is to get right down there with them :) I loved all of your pictures. Every student you have ever taught is just so lucky to have had you as a teacher. You are such an inspiration!
    ❀Jodi
    Fun In First

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  34. Where can I get the cute Blooms diagram you showed?

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