Teaching with Intention: Chapter 4

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Hi everyone! Welcome back to our book study on Teaching with Intention by Debbie Miller.

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Sorry I missed you last week in our discussion on chapter 3. Last Thursday was my first day back with my kids. You know how that goes. I am now a full week into the new school year and I am exhausted!!

Chapter 4 is about having a classroom culture that promotes and supports student thinking.

According to Debbie Miller, we should put our thinking on display. By showing our kids our thinking, we are teaching our kids how to be thinkers. We are showing our students how to be curious and reflective.

We need to show our students what we are curious about and what things interest us.
For the most part, I think that I show my kids what I am curious about. I often use the phrase, “I wonder why..” My students love when I stop and and ask questions.

We also need to show the students that we are open minded and willing to consider alternate perspectives.
After reading Teaching with Intention, I started to reflect and realized that I didn’t always keep an open mind when looking for an answer. There were many times that I was only looking for a specific answer. It wasn’t that I was doing it on purpose, it’s that I am always rushing because I have so much to material to cover and so little time. I learned that I definitely need to slow down!!

We also want to model seeking the truth and understanding.

So, I think that I do model and show the students that many times I have one thought in the beginning but as I continue reading, I realize that my idea has changed. I have a chart with prompts in my room. One of the prompts is;
At first I thought… but now I think…

According to Debbie Miller, we should also model what it means to be reflective.
I realized after reading this chapter that this is not something that I do a lot, so I have made it a point of modeling how I reflect on things said or learned in the class.

We should show kids what it means to have healthy skepticism for the written and spoken word.
I have to be honest…I am not good at this at all. This is one area that I definitely have to work on!

As I was reading chapter 4, one thing that stood out for me was when Debbie Miller was giving examples of Teacher Talk and how we use language in the classroom.

The example that stuck in my head was “Sometimes children say things that seem so bizarre (to us) that we wonder if they have been listening at all.”


This almost describes at least one conversation in my classroom everyday. Especially when one of my students blurts random things to try to get my attention. While I was reading aloud, my one student shouts out random thoughts. So now I say, “What from the book makes you think that?” After a few, and I mean a few (5 or 6 times that day) the boy stops making comments.


My mind was racing after reading chapter 4. To be honest, every chapter had me thinking and reflecting on my classroom and my teaching.

I plan on trying to write down things my kids say that are insightful during a lesson and write those ideas on chart paper to display in the room. I’m sure my kids will be really excited to see their thinking displayed for everyone to see.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. I’ll see you next week for chapter 5.


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