Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The power of words...

Three-quarters of the year has passed...3/4, 75%, 75/100.  Where has the year gone?  Back in October, one of my students said..."We should make a Top 10 list of things that our teacher always says and put it on a t-shirt."  Often they comment, "that one should go on the list."  As I have been watching this group of fourth graders, they have been inquisitive, motivated, thoughtful, caring, and just plain old fun.  I thought about our sense of community and how it will be sad at the end of the year. my effort to "listen" more this year... I asked the students what would actually make it on our "Top 10" t-shirts.  I braced Peter Johnston says in Choice Words...

"Children, in their own ways, teach us about the language of our classrooms."

This was my chance to listen to myself...and here it is...their Top 10 List for me!

1.  Questions, comments, concerns...
2.  Access denied (my frustration with our website filter at school...this is the message you receive)
3.  Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one.
4.  Get ready for Status!  (Status of the Class...the beginning of Reader's Workshop).
5.  Pumpernickel  (my desperate attempt to come up with a word when I drew a they say it all the time and have coined it as my classroom password)
6.  Reading is inhaling, and writing is exhaling (How happy was I to hear this one!)
7.  Has anyone seen my diet coke?
8.  The phrase "next stack" (for books to be read next)
9.  What do you think you know, what do you know, what do you wonder? (This is my opening to whenever I use Wonderopolis)
10.  Tough cookies!  (my attempt to overuse an idiom)

So...what did I learn?  The students are listening.  The power of my words can help create a sense of community.  I was so excited to see humor on the list, wondering on the list, reading on the I am wondering why there are no phrases that involve math workshop? :)


  1. You and I are so on the same page. I start every class meeting on Friday-do you have any questions, comments and concerns? We just finished status for this week-now I know which 3 students really need me :) I loved hearing at the lit conference Reading is inhaling, writing is exhaling. and although not Diet Coke I LOVE Coke!

  2. I am a firm believer that McDonalds has the best diet coke around!

    I am sooooo copy of Peter Johnston's Opening Minds just arrived today! Just in time for this post!

  3. Haha! Too funny. I may have to ask my kiddos their top 10 moments from this year!