[dropcap]We[/dropcap] could begin, for instance, by seeing books themselves as rich provocations, rather than as tasks or assignments to be dispatched and completed, since every good book invites its readers to consider what it might mean. And since a provocation, by its very nature, is intended to spark thinking along with both curiosity and puzzlement, we might also want to reconsider some of the practices we implement when reading—such as doing a picture walk, reading a back blurb, or providing a brief summary or background knowledge for the text—which, in the name of making a book more accessible, often have the unintended effect of dampening a child’s curiosity and puzzlement by simply revealing too much. Instead, we could use that curiosity and puzzlement to set students up to explore— to notice and question and develop ideas, which they could then test out and revise, just as Laura, the preschoolers, and the five- and six- year-olds did. And to get a more concrete feel for what this could actually look like, read the following example from a New York City public school class of third graders I had the chance to work with.
The Teacher You Want To Be: Essays About Children, Learning, and Teaching, edited by Matt Glover and Ellin Oliver Keene, will release October 22nd.