Saturday, March 11, 2017

#sol17 Day 11 Kiss Your Brain

"Did I knock your socks off?" he smiled as he finished reading his "show off" reading story. 

I'm sure I was smiling as this little guy was sort of "stuck" in that beginning reader, 1-2 sentence per page,Fountas and Pinnell Level C/D range just 2 months ago.  Now, he was working hard, but independently reading a text with  3-8 lines per page, like those found on a Fountas and Pinnell Level G!  I quickly computed his accuracy and realized his accuracy was 96%!

"You really did a good job wrestling those words to the floor," I responded. "I loved when you said going here (cue pointing to the miscued word) and then after you read ahead, it didn't make sense so you went back and fixed that misread word to glasses. You self corrected there, buddy.  You also self corrected over on this page, when you realized the word really was eye.  You are really using your reading strategies.  Kiss that thinking brain of yours!"

I've made an effort to use a child friendly form of retrospective, miscue analysis for many years (thanks to Yetta Goodman who popularized this strategy in the '80s). 
I've made a focused effort to give specific praise with examples after doing a running record for many, many years (thanks to Peter Johnston and his Words Matter).  

In the past few years, however, I've added another very specific, child-friendly way to acknowledge good thinking, "Kiss your brain."  I did not attend a workshop nor did I read to learn about this strategy.  I was on a visit to observe a teacher in a neighboring school district when I observed this phrase and the specific impact on students. It was clearly a cue to say, "Good thinking."  I never got a chance to specifically acknowledge that learning and how it impacted my teaching, but I did do a little research and it may come from the work of Dr. Jean Feldman's song, Kiss Your Brain.   

I'm not sure where the "knock my socks off" words came from, but I make it clear that it is a silly way of saying "Wow!"  To be honest, most students don't really cue into it and very few use it.  But "B" really likes that expression and frequently asks about how my socks are holding up as he reads!

So this morning, I thank Yetta, Peter, Jean (and of course Irene and Gay Sue) for making sure that "show off reading" session was more than just a test or assessment for progress monitoring.  "B" left my room with a smile on his face and very specific feedback for his teacher when he returned to his room.  "I self corrected two times and knocked her socks off!


Paula Bourque said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I want to start using that phrase next week! I've been so influenced by Peter Johnston's CHOICE WORDS to be explicit in my noticing and naming when kids need feedback. I'd love to end the conference with that phrase that reminds them that their brain has done some work that deserves recognition- that THEY are driving the work being done. This post was so great to read today! Thanks!

Unknown said...

Great success story! I love how kids pick up little things so say and use them. One of the first phrases my ELL student learned to say was 'Oh my goodness!' Clearly, this is one of my common expressions haha.

Aggiekesler said...

One of my teachers last year used this phrase, along with a motion (kissing her hand, then touching her head). The kids really responded well to it. Glad you are using it, too! :)

Tara said...

I just love that phrase - it says what you need it to (positive reinforcement) but it also takes you by surprise. Perfect!

Linda B said...

Words do matter, says Peter Johnston, and a whole lot of other wise people, including you, Anita! I haven't heard the "knock your socks off" in a long time, but it did happen in the past, maybe from an older relative? I enjoyed hearing about your time with this students who smiled on his way out the door!

travelinma said...

We are a collective of collaborators for the good of our students, aren't we. Always refining our language, our teaching. These efforts do make a difference.

Beverley Baird said...

Love your slice. Wonderful ways to showcase children's reading!

Karen said...

It is truly amazing how many people influence the words we use with students! I have many of the same mentors as you do - Peter Johnston is a must read every summer before school starts.
But I love the phrase "kiss your brain" - I just may borrow it!