Hats off to teachers…it’s time for Mid-Week Focus to feature…
…attention-getting phrases that…
When I work with students to help them master basic writing skills, I always encourage kids to become “picky, picky, picky about the words they choose to use.” “Words have power,“ I explain. “Different words hold different powers,” I elaborate on the theme. “For example,” I continue, “adjectives have the power to describe. Verbs have the power to show action.”
How picky are you, as a teacher, about the words and phrases YOU choose to use? My experience tells me that teachers can prompt kids to participate in class by using pre-selected words, phrases, sentences and questions that engage them.
You don’t have to be a writing teacher, per se, to use word power to jump-start the learning process. Have some fun with words yourself; your students will pick up on your clever command of language and join in.
All languages of the world have fascinating origins and cultural connections that amaze kids (and interested adults). I tell students that we can’t OWN words; words are for everyone to use. “But,” I explain, “when we put words to work in conversation and/or writing, we OWN what we say aloud or in print.” Kids like this concept. They begin to understand that word power – language mastery – opens the door to ownership.
Try sharing the following attention-getters with your class and see if the anticipated response I’ve noted is on target.
Surprise and delight kids – You say:
“You’ll never believe what my dog, ‘Mr. Perfect,’ did this morning at breakfast…”
Likely class response and your follow-up:
Eyes and ears “glued” on you, kids will call out, What’d he do?!!!!! You reply, “He stole a piece of bacon right off my plate!” Listen for laughter after you tell on “Mr. Perfect.” Then add, “Sometimes ‘Mr. Perfect’ isn’t so perfect.” Kids love this!
Teachers can choose to share snippets, like the one above about “Mr. Perfect,” that are true or made up. The magic is in catching and keeping kids’ attention to jump-start the learning process. Read on… (more…)