As I mentioned in my last post, I spent a week learning about the Responsive Classroom Approach.
One part of RC is allowing students to share community news with eachother. In order to make this successful in the classroom the teacher must scaffold the sharing. First, the teacher may provide a sentence starter (My favorite sport...) and all students are given an opportunity to share during sharing. But, the goal of the sharing session is to have students share an appropriate piece of news from their own lives. After they have shared it is up to the other students in the room to ask 3 questions or make 3 comments about the news they heard...and this is the hard part. The questions or comments must be focused on the sharer, not on the person who asked the question or made the comment. We watched a video showing how students were successful with this concept, and it was amazing to see students can do it! Over the past few days I have watched conversations between adults. The first speaker will share something, and the second speaker usually replies by taking about him/herself, not about the person. What do you do? Do you take an active interest in your conversations or are you turning the conversation to be about you? I am going to try to keep the focus on the other person for the next couple days, and see how the conversations unfold. I challenge you to do the same - I bet we learn more about our friends and family by keeping the focus on them instead of turning it to be about ourselves.