Choice Words

Chapters 4 & 6 (if you click on link "The Book" this is included plus more)

The fourth chapter Johnstons' opinion that "when people feel there is no relationship between what they do and what happens, they become upset and helpless."  He describes this feeling as needing a sense of agency.  I learned that in order to develop this within the child, it can come from questions like, "How did you figure that out?" requiring the student to position himself as a storyteller with himself as the protagonist.  Also, "what problems did you come across?" "how are you planning to go about fixing them?" and "which part are you sure about and which part are you not sure about?".  This chapter is also the chapter that everyone talked about in my book club discussion because of its examples of words that can be used to replace words in sentences that are said to students like, and instead of but, and adding if into the sentence.  Just by these two small revisions to a statement, it can; de-undermine the first piece of the feedback, sets up a future, and opens the door for more activities for feedback using the if to not force the child through it.
   Chapter six taught me valuable lesson as I read through it.  If this chapter would not have been here, I would have taken the other chapters discussions, and topics, and alternative phrasing options into mind; but I still would have most likely been using the IRE interaction without a clue of its existence or efffect.  Initiating, Responding, and Evaluating, while it gets to the point, it is very controlling because "the underlying premise is that the teacher already knows what needs to be known and therefore takes the role of judging the quality of the student's response."  I did get to learn of alternative epistemologies to this approach; for example, leading a shared inquiry, playing around with an idea together, or closely following other people's lines of thought.  I really love how in each chapter he gives examples for what he means and gives a detailed description of how and why he believes it to be the more accomplishing way.  Like for this chapter, I already knew about 'wait time' but he goes into greater detail of its benefits; or if the teacher says "thanks for straightening me out" it tells the student that not only is it acceptable to evaluate teachers comments, it is welcomed to help others correct misconceptions.