The only thing I dislike more than cats on the counter? Barking dogs. There is one cure and one tool. First the tool:
The cure? Are you ready? One word:
You need to be BORINGLY predictable. Have the bottle ready at every moment. Use it. Soon, you don’t have to use it. You just have to show it. Before you know it, the cat stays on the floor; the dog shows a little self control. Simple.
Ben barks because his “brother” barks.
If it doesn’t work, one mustn’t blame the bottle. Clearly, the bottle works, even though it is just water.
It is like that with kids too. All kids. Even the “spirited” ones. Especially the spirited ones. You don’t need to come down more harshly. Sending them to the administrator is also less than effective. If you feel the need to reach for the hammer, consider
- your relationship with the child
- your culture of engagement
- your ability to consistently respond in gentle ways
It isn’t about WHAT we use as much as it is THAT WE RESPOND. Every time. Calmly,
quickly returning to building that culture of learning.
A classroom engaged rarely has problems.
Great read: ” “If you were born before 1985, then you know what life is like both with the internet and without. You are making the pilgrimage from Before to After,”
As I wrote earlier , I had the very fortunate luck of attending a mini-session at the Project Zero Summer Institute 2013: “Effective Professional Learning Communities: Supporting Learning in Staff Rooms and Classrooms” by Daniel Wilson. The session aimed at identifying the key features of learning communities while discussing the common roadblocks that impede progress.
Group work and collaboration can be chaotic, frustrating and laborious. Done well, it produces better products that are more responsive to group needs than those created by a lone cowboy.
True collaboration is not simply
- communicating your plans without care for others
- coordinating parts in an additive fashion that is not fluent
- cooperating in a passive fashion without discussion and agreement on the big ideas
Effective Professional Learning Communities:
Supporting Learning in and Staff Rooms and Classrooms
Project Zero Summer Institute 2013, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Ideally, collaboration is the highly developed and dynamic process whereby more than one person comes together to create something truly unique and creative. This process is democratic; with everyone’s voice heard. The parts are reciprocally interdependent and the outcome a melodic blend that fits together well. Individuals design together, as equals, for the greater good.
This is true for all groups.
I had the very fortunate luck of attending Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero Classroom Summer Institute last summer. One of the mini-sessions I attended was “Effective Professional Learning Communities: Supporting Learning in Staff Rooms and Classrooms” by Daniel Wilson. The session aimed at identifying the key features of learning communities while discussing the common roadblocks that impede progress.
Wilson created this helpful graphic to help us understand the languages that we use in learning groups. This chart summarizes, on a continuum, the ways in which people share ideas.
“Languages that support learning are most effective when they are in the moment portable across situations and focus on sharing, generating, integrating knowledge to solve problems. “
Group work is full of difficult paradoxes. What is important, though, is that each person understand, accept and embrace differences so that problems can ultimately be solved. The languages we use become the details that either make or break the process. Being honest with oneself is the first step toward progress.