Ron Ritchart, Senior Research Associate at Harvard’s Project Zero, inspires teachers around the world by sharing 10 simple statements. Read 10 Things to Say to Your Students Everyday to revitalize teaching and learning within your classroom.
Language matters. In his book Choice Words, Peter Johnston mentions that language “…creates realities and invites identities. Saying, ‘You are so smart’ is very different from saying, ‘You are so thoughtful’.”
Try addressing students by what you want them to become. You might say:
- Scientists! What observations are you making through this inquiry?
- How do we make sense of this as mathematicians?
- What have you learned today as readers?
- What are your next steps as a writer?
- As problem-solvers, what should we do next?
Think about the realities you are creating with language in your classroom. How might you send stronger messages to help shape the way your students view themselves as learners? Choose a few ‘choice words’ and give it a try!
Johnston, P.H. 2004. Choice Words: How Our Language affects Children’s Learning, p. 9. Maine: Stenhouse Publishers.