I’m calling the fall of 2013 the Time of the Finding of the Missing Pieces. It started out with my realizing how important it is to get single choral responses from the entire class to each question I ask. I learned that from Von this past summer in Las Vegas.
Then jGR rolled in like a hurricane (destroying old ideas about student entitlement in terms of their behavior in class) with Three and Done right behind it. Three and Done came in right behind JGR like a pilot fish on a shark, and both gave the Classroom Rules a much more real bite (into grades) than they had when they were merely barking along from the wall unconnected to grades.
And a new missing piece is part of SLOW, a part that I think is of crucial importance, and that is that SLOW doesn’t work, for me at least, without what I call Wait Time. Check it out. Wait Time.
Now, I am not referring to the kind of wait time we are taught to do in a regular class, waiting before allowing answers to questions so kids can think for a few seconds before responding. I am talking about us consciously waiting for a short amount of time between word chunks. Wow. Try it!
Wait time in my view and as I define it for myself really is just going slowly, but with funky gaps between each word. I know that this is huge in ELA instruction, and so I think that we too should be more aware of putting gaps of sound between each sound chunk that we utter during the PQA. When we say SLOW we should be thinking how wait time is part of its definition. Just huge.
Let’s look again at these missing pieces from this fall’s learning curve:
- Insist on choral single word responses (usually yes/no) to every question we ask.
- Three and Done
- Wait Time
These are not easy.