The Show Not Tell Approach to Learning


Kyla Williams &

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I attended the Teacher Modeling the “show” not “tell” approach to Student Learning seminar presented by Lorraine Hoodicoff.
Oct 24- PITA Fall Conference- Kelowna

She used power point in her seminar and we were given handouts of the power point slides. Unfortunately the handouts were not in the same order as the power point so there was considerable flipping and looking needed. Teacher modeling is a recommended method for teaching Language Arts as per the IRP. It is important to show the students what is going on in our heads, how we process what we are reading and what connections we are making as we read. After that we then scaffold the students and then they do independent work. This is called GRR or Gradual Release of Responsibility. Reading happens in your head, this is comprehension, and not just saying the words with no meaning attached. In grades 7 and 8 the IRP requirement for oral language is 25%. Meta-cognition is thinking about thinking. Students need to pay attention to what is going on in their minds. Once they know what is going on in their head they can gain comprehension and articulate their strategies. Strategies for before a read aloud, during a read aloud and after a read aloud were given. They included (before) establishing focus, providing background information and remind students about appropriate behavior. (During) Teacher reads the text modeling good phrasing, intonation and volume and stops at strategic points to think aloud (make connections). (after) take talk time to discuss the strategies and behaviors and to share insights and clarify thinking. Other points mentioned: technical words such as inferring need to be used repeatedly to get the students used to it and so they understand the meaning. Illustrate when you are thinking and when you are reading. Ensure you leave time to discuss what was read. We do not realize all we do when we read and we need to teach the students about this. We all make connections in a different way. What we have experienced in the past influences the connections we make with new material. The connections must be meaningful, not I am wearing a blue shirt like the girl in the story. Before beginning to read aloud predictions should be made about the story from the title and cover. An activity to practice inferring is to take an idea like nervous and write a paragraph about being nervous without using the word nervous. Another inference activity is to mime emotions and have the students guess the emotion. Inferences can be made from pictures.