There’s a really interesting article on color naming and young children.  Since naming colors is included in every Preschool teachers repertoire, it’s interesting to note that the teacher’s language is an important factor in this task. The take home message:  watch your tongue and pay attention to the order of  your words.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-johnny-name-colors

In an article by Linda Doherty she states, “Teachers talk too quickly and bombard students with excess words, leaving them struggling in a “sea of blah” and possibly contributing to unnecessary referrals for behavioral disorders.”  She goes on to recount that the auditory testing of 10,000 children showed that 30% from age 4.7  years to 6.0 years could not accurately process sentences longer than 9 words.  Ken Rowe, the research director for the Australian Council for Educational Research, said the children did not have hearing problems but were bamboozled by rapid fire, lengthy instructions from teachers.  Consider that these were children who are on the older side of preschool.

Think about how difficult it is to process a phone number that someone leaves you when they speak too quickly.  Now imagine that you are the young child and that is happening over and over during the time at school! Too much information going through the auditory gate is garbled. It’s easy to see how this could lead to behavioral problems.  It’s possible that the child becomes frustrated, confused,  and tired trying to process the rapid fire information.

Try slowing down and using clear concise language.  Pay attention to the change, do you notice a difference in the children? Do you notice a difference in how you feel?

Watch the Youtube and think about what it can teach us!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUyLwXhqlWU

via Investigating Choice Time: Inquiry, Exploration, and Play | by: Renée Dinnerstein.

I was intrigued by this statement in the blog by Renee Dinnerstein:

“still does some thematic studies but she also listens closely to her children and develops inquiry projects based on their interests and wonderings.”

I love that she listens closely to the children.  I wonder that questions she and the children pose to develop inquiry projects.  Think about the questions that the teacher may have raised to children about the wheelchair.  Think about the different approach.  Instead to direct instruction about wheelchairs, children’s inquiry was so much more that the regurgitation of facts.  The teacher’s support of the children, including the questions  and comments gave a framework for authentic learning!

This is a summary of the book, Choice Words:

In productive classrooms, teachers don’t just teach children skills: they build emotionally and relationally healthy learning communities. Teachers create intellectual environments that produce not only technically competent students, but also caring, secure, actively literate human beings. Choice Words shows how teachers accomplish this using their most powerful teaching tool: language. 

Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children’s Learning – Peter H. Johnston