Saturday, September 7, 2013

Listen: Taking My Own Advice

My word for this year is LISTEN. I'm working on listening and responding as I teach and learn.

So many things have been happening this year, and I've been hearing lots of advice. Colleagues are ready to help. Experts in books have lots to say. Blogs burst with myriads of ideas. I've been trying to listen and learn whenever I can.

As I prepared for the first of the year, I began filtering through a lot of listening. And one thing struck me. I often don't listen to myself. Of, better said, I don't always remember or do things that I know are good ideas. I get so caught up in others' thoughts that I forget the "tried and true" ideas of my own. 

Here's one specific case. I love my large magnet board, an oil drip pan. In fact, one of the top all time posts on Brick by Brick is my post about the oil drip pan as one of my favorite things. We use one regularly in our church kindergarten class. But I don't have one in my school classroom. 

I decided that I should listen to my own blog and get one. In fact, I now have 2 in my classroom.

In my first grade class at the beginning of the year, I used one for a daily question. The class mascot, Rilla, would ask a question and the first graders placed their names under their response to it. We would then compare the answers (how many more or less, etc.). I had hoped to develop this daily activity further as the year went on. (Then I moved to my new school and grade level. In all the transition, I haven't been able to restart this activity.)

In my new class, we haven't used the magnet boards much yet. I use them as a portable display board from time to time. I will be using them more, and I'm so glad that I "listened" to my blog and purchased them. 

(I'll post more on using these as the year goes on.)

Sometimes the person you listen to the least is yourself. Or you just get caught up in all the other advice out there, you forget what you really know.

What "old" idea do you need to pull out and use again?

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