A Novice Conversation

Here is Angie demonstrating for us the difference between mere Circling and actually gathering information because she wants to know what her students are actually thinking (communication). The kids’ answers are short and easy for them to create and the topic is interesting. I personally wouldn’t have allowed Isaac to keep his head down. I would have him out of there or faking it. Just my own opinion.
Hi Ben,
I want to share a conversation that took place in my combined Novice 1 and 2 class today in Block 4.  All in TL.
Me:  (asking for gestures)  Show me “wins”.  Show me “loses”
Student 1 (Quincy):  I never lose!
Student 2 (Sadie):  I never lose too!
Me:  You always win?
Student 1:  Yes!
Me:  Class, does Quincy sometimes lose?
Class:  No!  Quincy never loses!
Me:  Does Sadie lose?
Class:  No!  Never!
Me:  Is it good to never lose?
Student 3:  No!  People who never lose are not nice.
Student 4:  It’s impossible to never lose.
Me:  So it’s good to lose sometimes.  Isaac, is it good to lose sometimes?
Isaac:  (picking his head up off the desk)…huh?
Me:  Is it good to lose sometimes?
Isaac:  Yes.
Me: It’s important to win sometimes and to lose sometimes? (I had to translate the infinitive “to lose”)
Students:  Yes.
I thought that this was very sophisticated!



2 thoughts on “A Novice Conversation”

  1. The reason I don’t let kids put their heads on desks is that it sends a message to everyone in the room and anyone walking by: “I’m not fully in control of my classroom.”
    I personally know that in most cases the child is just sending their own message to me and to the class: “I’m hurting.” But others can’t see that deep into it, unfortunately, and so I need to prevent that behavior.
    I sometimes take a chance and tell the kid that I know that they are hurting and if I could I would let them put their head down and even sleep, but that I can’t. Sometimes that bit of honesty from me seems to reach across the distance between us and often makes things better.

    1. I will ask students if they are not feeling well, and if I can make them a cup of tea. Sometimes they want the tea; almost every time they pick their head up.

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