Teaching With Intention

Aloha friends.  I am excited to be participating in this summer's book study Teaching With Intention hosted by The Kindergarten Smorgasboard.  This week is Chapter 2 Beliefs and Practices. This weeks hosts are Flying Into First, The Primary Gal and Mrs. Dailey's Classroom.

This chapter focuses on our ideal teaching practices and how students learn best.  Do you have a personal philosophy on teaching and learning?

Being in the classroom for over 20 years I have seen so many changes in education.  In college we were taught the holistic approach to teaching. Basals were bashed and we were to use only "real literature".  We learned thematic units were the way to integrate all subjects and cover our schools standards.

Over the years I have seen the educational pendulum swing in opposite directions and then come right back.  No matter what your admin or district throws your way you still need to have personal insight into how students learn best and how to teach them.

In this chapter Debbie Miller lists 6 things that guide her in teaching.

I whole heartedly agree with this. Your classroom needs to have a set place for
everything and students need to know where and how to access materials for learning.

I label everything and we work on routines from day 1 to make sure all items have a place and are replaced where they need to go.

My walls have lots of posters that we use everyday and throughout
the year along with anchor charts and student work.

We are such important role models! Students will pick up on our behaviors and emulate them from Day 1.  You lead by example.  If you focus on the negative so will they!  I work really hard at finding the positives in everything.  Somedays are easier than others.

I am pretty sure we all know this.  Some days you wonder why aren't they getting it?  If it's not engaging you will lose some of those kiddos.  It's definitely hard to have those active and engaging lessons all the time, but it's possible to tweak any lesson to make it more engaging.  Just working with a partner can help even the most reluctant learners.

This is something that I have worked on in the last few years.  I have done centers forever, but it was a lot of work on my part.  Once I read The Daily 5 I was hooked on the workshop method for Reading, Writing and Math!  It has helped so much and I know my students love it!
The following books really helped me to put this all in place.

We do this informally almost everyday.  You take mental notes all the time on how each child is doing.  Sara is always the first one done and Jessica may never finish.  But why?  It's not necessarily one is smarter than the other. There could just be different motivators for each child.  I try to do quick checks each day to see how and why my students are performing the way they are.  Bobby never finishes his work independently.  Is the work too hard?  How can I help and adjust my teaching strategies to get him to finish independently.  

This chapter continues on with putting your beliefs into your teaching practices and reflecting on them.  Debbie suggests writing them down.  Believe me this is so helpful! I started this blog 3 years ago and it has helped me to reflect so much on my teaching practices.  I go back and reread many of my posts and it inspires me to do more and keep learning.  Sharing ideas with others and reading other blogs has also helped me to reflect and improve.

In her final statements of this chapter Debbie mentions district mandates.  I hear complaints from so many teachers of how they can't teach the way they want because of what has been mandated.  This can really be hard and frustrating.  I love what she says " Take the high road. Don't let them defeat you. Do what you have to do; in the end no one can mandate how you feel about children."

How are you liking the book so far?  Next week is Chapter 3 Environment, Environment, Environment!  I will be hosting and I am really looking forward to sharing! See you then.


  1. Corinna, This is a great post! I also went to school in the whole language era and am glad to see the pendulum swinging back to integrated units. Children who are engaged and interested in learning will retain so much more! I love your Walter Barbie quote. Thanks for sharing:)

    Tammy Wathen
    The Resourceful Apple

  2. You picked some great quotes. I think I need to look at getting this book.
    Grade School Giggles

    1. It's a great summer read to inspire and get you ready for a new year!

  3. Which books helped you?
    That section is blank on my screen. :(


Mahalo Nui Loa For Commenting!!

Back to Top