The Teacher Tip

Don Graves Monday: The Sound in The Head

October 2, 2017

From Teaching Day By Day: 180 Stories to Help You Along The Way, by Donald H. Graves

I was in Toronto conducting a writing workshop with a group of teachers. One them, Mr.Green, a published writer of adolescent fiction, told me a story about one of his students that had a great effect on me:

“I’m used to reading aloud to my class. I guess I’m pretty good at it, because my students obviously enjoy it. I usually put in a few flourishes of interpretation from my vantage point as a writer of fiction. One day one of my struggling students, a tough kid, came up to ask a question.

“‘Mr. Green,’ he said, ‘You know when you read aloud and it sounds so good? Like when you sit and read that stuff to yourself, does it sound like

that too?’

“I thought for a moment and said, ‘Well, it isn’t exactly like reading aloud, but I sort of hear the reading, what’s happening on the page.’

“The boy replied, ‘Mr. Green, I don’t hear nothin’ like that at all. It’s all quiet.’”

Some students see what is happening.Others both hear and see. But sadly, for many, there isn’t much happening at all.

How well do we know what is happening in our student’s heads as they try to take in a text?

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