Q&A #18055

Student-led closings

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From: Ralph (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Dec 17, 2006 at 15:48:57
Subject: Re: Student-led closings

Dear Sondra,

Thank you for writing to T2T.  I have to admit to being rather surprised
that the model you describe is being used for Kindergarten.  I've seen it
effectively employed in classrooms from Gr. 3 and up, but I can certainly
see the challenges involved in trying to apply it at the Kindergarten
level!  The teachers I've seen employing a structure such as what you've
described usually circulate and take notes during the work time, and then
carefully "select" groups that have approached whatever task the class is
working on in interesting ways to discuss/explain their approach in the
closing--before this structure really can be productive, a lot of time
needs to be taken establishing the classroom as a "community of learners",
where, for example, no child's method/approach is "put down", students
listen courteously, ask clarifying questions comfortably, etc.  At the
Kindergarten level, this is a HUGE task.  You might find that only a few
(if any) of your students are comfortable verbalizing their explanations,
and that considerably more guidance/assistance will be needed from the
teacher as the student explains what s/he did in solving the problem etc.
In my humble opinion, it might be expecting too much to have "pure" student-
led closings at that level. Good luck, and sorry I couldn't provide you
with more help!

 -Ralph, for the T2T service

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