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Back to School Tip

Hi Everyone!  I’m linking up with some of my favorite new Periscope/ Blogging buddies to bring you our best back to school tips.  My tip for you is:

Guided Discovery is part of Responsive Classroom and utilizing this strategy has served me very well regardless of what grade I’ve taught.  It is a focused, purposeful yet playful technique teachers use to introduce materials, areas or activities to students.  Responsive classroom suggests using these 5 general steps, which can be adapted to meet the age level/ needs of the students:
  • Introduce the item/ activity/ area
  • Have students generate ideas about how to use said item.  All ideas are valid and welcome
  • Allow students to explore the item
  • Have students share what/ how they explored and their observations
  • Generate appropriate guidelines for cleanup/ care and usage of said item
I especially use this method to introduce our classroom materials like crayons, pencils, paper, book bins, math manipulatives, books, etc.   I don’t let my students have free reign of any materials until we’ve done this process first.  It can be a bit time consuming, but the payoff in the long run is huge.  
This past year my students had plastic pencil boxes that we called “toolboxes”.  First we practiced and modeled how to use them, where to put them, what not to do with them, and what to do if one fell on the floor and exploded 😉  After that, as we went through the guided discovery process of crayons, scissors, glue, markers, etc. they got to add those tools to their tool box.  I do plan to Periscope on this topic and explain/ model it a little further so make sure you’re following me @nagorski1 And if you haven’t already pick up your copy of “The First Six Weeks of School“!