Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Mr. Bank, what are we doing?"

I love this daily question.

"Are you referring to, dear student, the assignment I have projected on the board - the assignment I also just explained verbally ... clearly, loudly and slowly ... four times in a row?"

I asked a veteran teacher if she thinks our students are becoming progressively worse at listening to, and processing, instructions. She said she believes yes, they are; however, she offered me advice:

Don't enable them. Don't keep repeating myself. Push them to grasp the lesson's instructions the first time it's stated. Or to look up, read the board, and absorb the meaning of the words they see.

I do wonder if this information age, with rapid pieces of information flying at our kids all day long from all media angles, is affecting their ability to grasp instructions?

Oh, my second favorite question: Is this all we are doing in here today? (Typically asked 20 minutes into class). If I had a dollar ...

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