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April 19, 2007

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John Holland

Another great post Sophia. One of my favorite strategies is to just reflect what a students says. I usually start with the statement, "Tell me about your picture." When Daniel says, "I drew my daddy." By simply saying, "Your daddy?" it often elicits an entire story from a child. How do you handle students who aren't trying or pushing themselves though? The ones you think can do better?

John Holland

Another great post Sophia. One of my favorite strategies is to just reflect what a students says. I usually start with the statement, "Tell me about your picture." When Daniel says, "I drew my daddy." By simply saying, "Your daddy?" it often elicits an entire story from a child. How do you handle students who aren't trying or pushing themselves though? The ones you think can do better?

John Holland

PS Thanks for the Link in your Friends sidebar. If I can ever get organized enough I will post your site on mine!

Sophia Pappas

Thanks for the comment and question. I also use the "tell me about your..." technique in a variety of settings (e.g., in blocks, - tell me about your construction or building or just in Sand or Dramatic Play - tell me about what your doing - to being a dialogue).

In terms of motivating students sometimes I do the activity along with them if I notice they are not putting much effort into it. I model thinking out loud about my picture as well as what to do when I get stuck. I then invite the child to help me (e.g., I am going to draw a picture too. Let's see, we sang that fun song about recycling. I think I'll draw myself throwing paper in the recycling bin. But how do I get started? Which part of me do I draw first? Should I just give up, cry, or keep going?). The child usually then steps in to help. After he or she helps me I thank him or her and then say something like, that was fun, now let's work on your drawing!

I also try to target their interests. If I know a child likes cars I may try to incorporate cars in my questioning (e.g., what else could you draw? I remember you talking about cars at lunch. Would you like to put a car in your drawing?).

I have also found that even the children having a bad day for whatever reason respond well to a burst of silliness. In the car situation I might say something like, "gee, if we are going to draw a car we better make it flying in the sky with a pig on top. What? That's not right. Well, can you show me what a car would really look like?).

Lastly, we have an "easy" button for times when we think something is difficult, but then work through it. I may show other children pressing the easy button (from Staples) when they are done to motivate the other child.

Your thoughts?

Sophia

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About Me

My name is Sophia Pappas, and I teach pre-kindergarten at an inner-city public school in New Jersey.

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