Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I don't know, let's find out

Not to be a smartass, "I don't know, let's find out" is one of my favorite responses to the scholars in my class. It took me years to develop this tact.

I used to fire off the answer to a spelling question, a grammar question, a question. Oh was I smart. Wrong. I was so dumb. The scholars weren't learning anything and I was enabling them. As I grew, I had the dictionary, the grammar book, the reading book propped up against each computer. If one of those questions came at me, I parried with "look it up in one the books next to your computer." Not as effective as when I would come over and help them find the answer in one of those books, or any other book I had in the class library. Soon I modified my harshness with a more compassionate, "I don't know, let's find out" approach. As I grew so did the Internet and as Yahoo, gave way to Alta Vista, and finally to Google and Wikipedia; my scholars and I can actually find the answers together. I'm using my skills of solving problems to help them learn these skills and they are finding the answer to a pressing question on their own more often now.

Now I just have to help the scholars learn not to yell out the answers of questions from their peers in class and instead shout out, "I don't know, let's find out." This is similar to when I have to remind the scholars not to touch someone else's keyboard or mouse. Instead they should use words to talk the scholar through a process. "Don't do it for them, tell them how to do it," I suggest.

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