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I read the chapter and I enjoyed it, thinking that there were lots of practical tips in there for aspiring teachers. So I figured I could do what the chapter was about: “naming” the things I “noticed.”

My favorite part was the exercise used to teach kids a word of the day. I thought it was not only useful for expanding growing vocabularies, but it also serves a purpose for helping kids to start “noticing”. However, I think that the use of a visual connection would help solidify the learning for them. If they’re learning about something, they should not only learn its definition, but also what it looks like. My mom and dad have always made use of every opportunity to teach me new words and their meanings. I don’t remember how old I was, but I do remember exactly where I was when my mom taught me the word “dissipate”. We were driving through the industrial part of town and she asked if I knew what the clouds of exhaust were doing. When I didn’t, she told me they were dissipating. Since I had the visual in front of me, watching the exhaust clouds slowly getting fainter, I was able to understand. Another instance was when I was 18 months old. As my parents tell the story, I pointed to a dent in my crib and asked, “Daddy, what’s that?” He replied, “It’s a….It’s an indentation!” Allegedly, I then jumped up and down in my crib repeating the word over and over.

Another thing that I “noticed” about this chapter was all of the open ended questions that were used to help kids to begin noticing new things.

  • “Did anyone notice…?”
  • “Remember when…?”
  • “Do you see how…?”
  • “How is this different?”
  • “What went well?”
  • “What kinds of questions do you have?”

Most of these seemed like they would be fit for elementary classrooms where students are just learning to read and write well. Still, I do notice many of these questions popping up in my college classes to help inspire discussion.

  • “What did you notice?”
  • “How is this different?”
  • “Where did you agree?”
  • “Where did you disagree?”
  • “What do you think that means?”
  • “Have you explored ______ as a possibility?”
  • “What questions do you have?”

It’s nice to know that even though we are college students, we can still be taught to notice more. I think this is essential, especially for aspiring teachers, to be in a constant quest for how we can notice more and then, in turn, inspire others to do the same.

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