Monday, June 15, 2015

Teaching with Intention Chapter 2

This week chapter 2 is being hosted by Flying into First Grade, The Primary Gal and Mrs. Dailey's Classroom. Head over to their blogs to read their reflection of their own beliefs and practices. I absolutely loved Chapter 2 from Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller.  Reflection is a necessity for effective teaching to occur and this chapter helped me to think about two important aspects of my pedagogy…my beliefs and my practice.  Of course they are perfectly aligned right? As I dug further into what I thought about teaching and I what I actually did in my classroom, I learned that the answer was a resounding NO! However, I wasn’t too far off, so that was somewhat reassuring.

After reading Chapter 2 of Teaching with Intention, I decided to think about what I believed about teaching and learning. These are a few of the things that I truly believe about education. 
Debbie Miller states that defining her beliefs took the better part of a year. I want to use this summer to reflect on what I really believe about my craft. This summer I plan to examine my classroom practices to ensure that they are aligned to my pedagogical beliefs. Similar to what Miller did in her book, I want to start with the first activity in the morning until the bell rings in the afternoon. Then comes the difficult task, when I find something that is not aligned with my beliefs, do I change the belief or the practice?  
The vision for my classroom is guided by what I believe about teaching and learning. From the very beginning, I want to forge a positive relationship with my students.  Not only know them as students, but as individuals. I feel that a positive relationship is a precursor to learning. In my classroom, we do the Learning Circle every Monday, where students share something about themselves.  I got the idea from Nellie Edge and here is a picture of her classroom.
Another vision that I have for my classroom, is that children have the ability to voice their opinion in their learning. In the morning, my students are able to vote on a book that they would like to be the first read aloud of the day(see pic below).
They take a picture walk through each book and take a blue or red connecting cube and add to one of the towers. Students also have the opportunity to help me choose the two books that we vote on each morning. This is just one example of student choice, but I would love to find more opportunities like this in during the school day.

I loved this chapter because it prompted a deep reflection about my practice. Bring on Chapter 3!


  1. I adore the book vote idea! What a great way to build interest in the stories. Do you read both selections during the day?

  2. Hi Tracy,

    We usually just read one of the books in the morning. The other one would remain on the ballot for the next day. I started out choosing the books for voting, but students began picking books that they wanted to hear. So I would grab books from that bin to put up for voting. They love having that choice and want to vote first thing in the morning.