36th out of 46 books — 10 voters
Opening Minds: Using Language to Change Lives
"Introducing a spelling test to a student by saying, 'Let's see how many words you know,' is different from saying, 'Let's see how many words you know already.' It is only one word, but the already suggests that any words the child knows are ahead of expectation and, most important, that there is nothing permanent about what is known and not known."
— Peter Johnston
— Peter Johnston
Paperback, 152 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Stenhouse Publishers
(first published February 15th 2012)
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Another amazing book about the language we use with children by Peter Johnston. When I read Choice Words, I could see more clearly the messages my language gave to the children I worked with. I have gone back to that book over and over in the last several years. It has been one of the most powerful professional books I've read. In this new book, Johnston adds more layers to what he understands about the language we use with children and how it impacts them beyond the walls of the classroom. A ve...more
As a sequel to the first book Choice Words, I thought this book gave educators, parents, and coaches wonderful examples of why it is important to choose your words carefully around children. Having a background in psychology was helpful for this book, as there were a lot of studies that were passed off as reliable but really needed more evidence to support them. I think that with more research and the more teachers that read the material presented by Johnston, there will be more supporting evide...more
This book really changed the way I give students feedback. Overall, Johnston critiques the U.S. focus on standardized testing: "We have only taken seriously children's academic success and that only in the narrowest terms and largely for its economic benefit--also with the narrowest vision. The primary tool for reform has increased pressure towards performance goals: teach to get better test scores or be punished." (113) He explores classroom practices that promote a just democracy by teaching t...more
A great book and a must-read for teachers and parents. Filled with practical examples and tips that illustrate the principles that it is advocating. Language is very powerful and it definitely shapes thoughts and behaviours. And as the role-models in our children's (both students and our own bloodline) life, we need to understand how what we say and how we say something impact our children. Available as both a hardcopy and ebook. Very readable even if one has to read it in chunks.
As a followup to Choice Words, Opening Minds continues the power of our words. One main point in Opening Minds is the use of the word "yet" which can leave the door open to learning with the knowledge that the opportunity is there. One example PJ uses to show the power of our words is a teacher asking her colleagues for advice on cooking a wild turkey her husband had hit with his car. Once someone noted that the bird was "roadkill," the teacher could not bring herself to eat it.. even after spen...more
I had read another book by this author that I really liked so was interested in reading this one. I was excited that so much of the content in this book complements what I just read in the book Creating an Opportunity to Learn. The author also mentions the work Carol Dweck numerous times. Dweck's work is something we are incorporating at Esperanza.
Wow! What an amazingly powerful book for educators and parents. The author builds on his work in Choice Words to show the importance of the language we use and the mindset in which we immerse kids. This is a book that should be read and discussed by teachers so that they can collaboratively change the environment in their individual school. Parents will gain insight in how to approach discipline and develop strong character in their families.
This amazing book needs to be read, re-read and savored by teachers of all disciplines. Johnston helps us understand why the language we use in the classroom helps us to create environments in which students can risk real learning, learn from failure, and continue to develop as learners. A worthy successor to Choice Words!
I am increasingly convinced that the hardest layer of instruction is the improvement of the language interaction patterns we use with our students. As I watch my students teach, the use of global praise, the infrequent of use of how and why probes to reveal thinking, the focus on accuracy and right answers versus problem solving are all common situations. Opening Mind updates work in Choice Words especially in light of Dweck's models of static and dynamic intellect. I wish I could tlak with my s...more
The author shows how words can shape students' learning, their sense of self, and their social, emotional, and moral development. All teachers and parents should READ this book, it will change your views! Check it out. I have a link where you can read it for FREE, just e-mail me back
This book has changed what I say to people, not just children. I'm still reeling and reflecting and I read it months ago. Taking the principles in this book to heart will revolutionize your relationships as well as your ideas about learning and learners.
I loved Choice Words and this book is a winner as well. It basically takes all of the current research on mindset and motivation and puts it in the context of teaching and learning. This would be a foundational book for me if I were a principal starting a new school.
This is an excellent book about how the language we use in the classroom/library changes each student's perception of themselves and their abilities. My favorite quote from the book: "Teaching is planned opportunism." We plan for learning opportunities and take advantage. The best teaching (in my opinion) is a little messy, never silent, and a bit unpredictable.
This is one of the best books an educator can read. There is so much to absorb and think about after reading it. I wish I could purchase this book for every politician out there. I highly recommend passing this on to educators and parents as well. It is very powerful and insightful. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!
This is a book that will change the way I speak when I teach. I already had "yet" in place, but vanquishing "I like the way..." and "Good job!" from my vocabulary will take time and lots of practice!
Summer 2012 #bookaday #40
Summer 2012 #bookaday #40
This was an amazing book. I am an undergraduate student studying elementary education and this book opened my mind to new ideas about what it means to be a teacher and what it means to be a learner. Johnston's book explores the social aspects of learning and encourages creating dynamic worlds for children to work and learn in.
As a high school teacher I was worried that the target audience (elementary school through 8th grade) might make this book a non-starter for me. However, I found that the book provided a number of powerful ideas that I can take into my secondary classroom. It is true that I found myself wishing through the book that my students would come to me with a foundation of dialogic learning in their earlier years; it can be very difficult to shift a mindset of a teenage or adult student. That doesn't me...more
This was one of the best educational theory books I have read in a while. Changed my complete outlook on how my language in the classroom can affect students. I even was privileged enough to hear Dr.Johnston speak in person. I cannot recommend how important the work in this book truly is. Absolutely fantastic. Ill be reading his previous book Choice Words next.