When becoming your own designer, what are some things you intend on doing in your classroom to ensure that you are making that connection with your students, and how do you intend on making sure that this process continues inside and outside of the classroom?
Chapter 7 questions: How often would you schedule discovery time in your classroom? What would your ideal scheduled time look like? What are some ways you're brainstorming how to encourage awe, discovery, and questioning into your current or future classrooms?
Chapter 8 questions: In light of current space restrictions, what are the ways you have incorporated movement with your students inside and outside the classroom? Of the examples in the text, which ways would you like to consider for the future? In what ways have you seen movement benefits student learning?
Questions for Chapter 5:
The chapter talked about the decline of play for children as they spend more time indoors on screens. (Cunningham, 2019). In your current classroom, how will you incorporate play into your classroom? Do you feel schools are coming around to the idea of play being an important part of the curriculum? How can you convince parents, colleagues, or administrators that play is an important aspect of the learning process?
Questions for Chapter 6:
This chapter talked about how important it is for students to have time allotted every single day for storytelling. They even recommended having a student job as a storyteller in order to hold the teacher accountable for that time. This is all great on paper or in theory, but how can we make sure that we create this time and stick to it? When we run behind schedule or if something else comes up in our day, would storytelling would be one of the first things to go? What are some ideas you have for your classroom that would allow time for your students to create stories and be able to share with their classmates regularly?
Chapter 3 questions - What are ways that you can promote student choice, but still meet the standards required by the state and school district?
Where would you "draw the line" as to how much choice students have in their own reading assignments?
Chapter 4 questions - What are some ways you could make learning an adventure?
What strategies have you used or plan to use to cultivate your students' self-motivation?
How can you make literacy instruction fun yet challenging?
Chapter 1 of Start with Joy begins with asking the questions Why Happiness? Why Now?
At the core of Start with Joy is the belief that students' happiness is as important as their academic learning. The purpose of the book is to show us how students’ happiness can be supported during their learning, specifically their literacy learning. As teachers, we need to be intentional about supporting students’ happiness. We can’t just hope that students’ happiness is a by-product of our teaching. We need to create opportunities for students to engage in work that is joyful and meaningful.
As teachers, as Cunningham pointed out, we need to ask ourselves what is happiness? What does happiness look like in our school? What does it look like in learning? How can we make our classrooms more joyful by tapping into students' hearts and bodies the same as we do their minds? How can we intentionally plan for students' happiness as well as their understanding?
How can we work to change the mentality that success is tied to stress and anxiety and winning at all costs? As teachers how can we emphasize our students' strengths and acknowledge that we all face challenges?
Chapter 2 questions: "Research across fields has shown that happy people have one thing in common and it has nothing to do with their IQ, gender, or socioeconomic status: they have plenty of good relationships" (Cunningham, 2019, p. 31). As seen in the text, literacy is a method by which relationships and connections with our students, and amongst our students can be fostered.
If we want to promote connection in our classrooms, and ultimately joy, we must be intentional in designing instruction. A result of successfully designing our instruction to strengthen student's people sense is also strengthening their perspective-taking, or understanding the goals and intentions of others (Cunningham, 2019). At the conclusion of the chapter, the author once again reviewed several activities that we, as educators can use as potential tools in designing instruction that will help to encourage connection. Out of all of the design strategies presented, which one(s) do you find to be the most beneficial and would you consider adopting into your curriculum? Why?
Explain an aesthetic experience you have had with your students or that you have had as a student? Why do you feel these experiences are important for your students?
How has reading this book influenced or impacted your classroom?
1. Describe a time where you experienced perspective bending.
2. What are some ways you have encouraged or are planning to encourage children to bend each other's perspectives?
1. Chapter 6 discusses a heart's home. Describe one of your heart's homes. How can we make our classrooms a heart's home for our students?
2. Tell about a time a text affected you. How can we use this to help teach students to be more emotionally aware when reading?
3. The chapter ends with a teacher questioning the benefit of allowing more emotional dialogue in the classroom. What are your thoughts?
After reading the article within the chapter,
1. Did you experience a sense of intellectual urgency? How did the author draw you in? what elements of the piece did you find compelling?
2. Did your attention wander as you read the article? what brought you back? If you chose not to read the article or abandon it partway through, why?
3. What is your engagement story in this piece? How would you share it with students?
How has your vision of engagement changed so far because of this book?
Take a few minutes this week in your classroom to sit back and watch your children. What do you notice about their engagement?
(If you are not in the classroom yet, do you feel child watching would be beneficial and how could you work it in.)