Monday, February 28, 2011

What makes a Great Share Square by BES students

We are always looking to improve our students' understanding and know the power of the Share Square. At BES, we understand that this time when we gather, as a whole class, in a circle to do more than "share their learning. It's that, for sure, but some days it's also a forum for exchanging ideas and discussing issues, making connections from our reading (and other subject areas) lives to the world, and constructing meaning for ourselves and each other, one idea at a time." "It's about tone, it's about respect, and it's part of the language we use as we live and learn together..."  (Miller)

As thoughtful educators, we know that "providing children with opportunities to articulate their thinking honors their voices and strengthens the reciprocity between oral and written communication. In addition, the share lets children model literacy as teachers while it empowers them as learners." (Kempton)  We know that this conversation allows for students to explore a topic in depth. "Because the leader [teacher] does not provide answers, participants are challenged to think for themselves. By trying out their ideas and exchanging and examining opinions, students build their answers  and develop their own ways of understanding the selection (concept)."  (GBF)
Watch this video to see what our own students have already internalized about The Share Square.

What do your students think makes a great Share Square?

Miller, Debbie. 2002. Reading with Meaning
Kempton, Sue. 2007. The Literate Kindergarten.
The Junior Great Books Foundation. 1999. An Introduction to Shared Inquiry

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