Reading Response Blog #6

Assigned Reading: Christine Thompson Reading

Christine Thompson and Sandra Bales discuss the importance of “conversations in preschool” as it relates to assignments and projects the students have had to complete.  Thompson described that as the children exchanged ideas about their individual works and discovered one another’s shared interests, they built communities within the class.  The quality of the visual images created discussion amongst the children and Thompson stated that allowing this discussion to happen is beneficial to the children.

Thompson gives an example of one particular student, Matthew, who frequently and vocally admired other children’s work. This is great because it not only boosts the student making the art work confidence but also gives Matthew new ideas to build off of and try for himself.

Not only is discussion amongst children important in preschool classrooms but independent discussion is helpful also.  This reading highlighted that when the children withdrew for more sustained consultation with themselves, their steps and processes were strategic and purposeful.  This was because they were self-directing themselves as they spoke to themselves in order to plan or revise works-in-progress. Thompson stated that the younger children frequently shared their intentions with others in ways like “do you know what i’m gonna make?” or recruited audiences by asking “wanna see me make a snake?”  This process of reflection enabled children to consider the possibilities they could consider with their creations.

The biggest thing I got from this reading is to encourage class engagement and discussion that is not necessarily lead by the teacher or the leader in charge but rather by the children themselves.  The children talked singly to themselves or to another classmate, both of which are forms of classroom talk that play significant roles in events that happen long after the children master the ability to create recognizable images.

This reading brought out an important question to reflect on.  The question is: how can teachers respond to egocentric speech without disrupting the route in which the conversation is going?  It is important that a teacher be an advocate for positive conversations in the classroom but also important that they allow for the students to come up with their own ideas in that discussion.  This reading explored how helpful and beneficial conversations in the classroom are to a student’s mental and social development.

Questions: 
  1. How can teachers respond to egocentric speech without disrupting the route in which the conversation is going?
  2. What are some ways to encourage class engagement?
  3. How does the process of drawing compare to looking at art works?
  4. How young is too young to promote the discussion about art?
  5. How do you incorporate discussion to include those that do not like talking about the works they have created?
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