The word Microaggression was new to me, but once I understood, I knew exactly how they felt. Each of the author's teaching strategies that are embedded are really helpful for me as I think about how to go about this work. Subtle differences, such as just asking if someone has HEARD the word versus knowing what it MEANS can mean a lot. I really liked how even when working with a word like that, she brings it back to "What does it mean in your experience?". To me, this brings together inquiry and personalizing the learning and as the author tells us, it helps everyone to work from the same understanding.
Being candid, honest with intent to evolve - this is the part that always stops me and makes me think. What if kids don't want to do this? What if they don't see a need? This is hard work and emotional.
The author uses stories a lot - personal ones, stories from poems or books. I think for all kids, but especially for elementary students, story is a really great way of talking about this. Whether it is a personal story of your own or from a book, it allows them to peek through a window into that world.
After reading the part about implicit bias, I began noticing all kinds of little things that my kids and I were saying or doing, even just with each other. Awareness is so important!
This section also helped me think about how to talk more about bias with my library students. When we evaluate a resource, one of the criteria is Bias, but I've never been really sure how to talk about it with them. I think I now have some really really great ways to begin the conversation. Drawing the doctor, pilot, etc I think will be very powerful. I can't wait to try it on my own 2 children. I'll post the results.
Chapter 4 - Becoming Better Informed
I have absolutely been there when kids just need to talk about something. I only see my students once a week for 45 min., so it is really hard when they come in because many times they are just bursting to tell me things. Sometimes it is about a birthday or other event and sometimes they are bigger questions or topics. Some days I tell them that I want to hear about _________ and can they talk to me at check out time. Sometimes I know I need to abandon whatever we were supposed to do and focus on what they need. I love how she calls it "student news".
I think the chart that is created is terrific! I love the column that is for their thinking. I have been working to add more reflection into my students' lives and this is a great way of doing that. It is really helping to make their thinking visible and it might take a lot of modeling and practice. So worth it.
I've used a tool that may have come from Smoky Daniels originally when we notetake - Fact / React.
I love it because it isn't just about kids writing down a fact about their animal, but they need to DO something with that fact. Ask a question, realize that it is important, something new they learned, etc. I have them code it using little pictures. It has helped move kids from just regurgitating facts.
The mini-inquiries that come out of the taking action column are a great way to give kids an outlet. My daughter (she's 11) has been struck by many things she's heard about plastic straws harming animals and even did a writing in school about it. She didn't get to the point of taking action, but almost. I was happily able to tell her about Starbucks working to get rid of plastic straws by 2020 and McDonalds moving on this too. She was thrilled!