Monday, November 19, 2012

"Pushing Our Thinking"

"Pushing our Thinking"

This is my new favorite saying....

My students are now used to me asking, "Are you doing the MAXIMUM, or the MINIMUM?" This is coming from Lucy Caulkins, but I have really tried to take it the next level. I truly believe our students are, 95% of the time, doing only the minimum-what we ASK them to do. see..I'm TIRED of that!! I don't want my students to JUST do the minimum anymore! I want them to PUSH their thinking! I want them to DIG DEEPER! Think like no other student has thought before! JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE FINISHED..YOU HAVE JUST STARTED!

Please, please, please don't tell me, "I'm done, Mrs. Gates."! No, you are NOT done! You have just begun!

I have a student (and I know you all have this SAME student!) that gets finished with the minimum of what I've asked...aka... "I did exactly what you asked, but not a bit more." He then gets out his huge chapter book that he can't put down (don't get me wrong, this too, is wonderful-but NOT during WRITING time!) and begins to read while he waits for me to move on to the next mini lesson or meeting. Noooooo!!!! I don't want you to read during WRITING time! I want you  to keep pushing yourself-

-What else do you have to say about this idea?
-Can you write something else about this topic?
-Can you try this technique as a writer again with a different idea?
-Can you stretch your thinking on this topic?
-What other opinions do you have? Why do you think that?
-Can you take this idea and turn it into a personal narrative?
-Can you take this personal narrative and write it as an expository essay?
-Can you abandon this idea and think of something else to write about?

The questions are endless!


Linda Corbin

Love the question about turning one piece of writing into another genre of writing! Taking a non-fiction book and turning it into poetry is another great way to do this!

Janet E

I have a class full of bare-minimum doers this year and they're only second graders! SO, I feel your pain. I love your blog and have nominated you for a Liebster Award. You can see your nomination on my blog... (Sorry, I don't know how to make a link.)


Julie Pieprzyk

I just stumbled upon your blog and I absolutely love it. I nominated you for a Liebster Award. Check out my blog for details:

My Journey to 5th Grade


Love your list of questions to encourage writers. I agree - don't tell me you are done!

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