Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Unapologetic

Yes.  My classroom is noisy.  Sure...I could do something about it.  I could have my students sit in their seats and not move.  I could have my students spend their day completing worksheets.  I could have my students be silent all day long.  I could have my students sitting at isolated desks.  I could have my students surrounded by privacy boards.  I could lecture.  I (along with my para and co-teacher) could sit at a desk and/or stand guard ensuring that the children stay silently on task. 

I could.  But I won't.  I prefer my classroom to be noisy.  I know that "the greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction" (Responsive Classroom).  For my students to learn in a way that is optimal for human beings my students need to make noise.  They need to work in groups and/or partnerships.  On the floor, at a table, or in a beanbag.  They need to use manipulatives, or any other tool that helps them be successful.  They need space to spread their materials.  They need to sing.  They need to grapple with tought questions.  While talking to each other.  They need to be engaged.  And for that I encourage them to be noisy.  Without apology.