Get Real: Bringing Kids' Learning Lives Into Your Classroom

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Stenhouse Publishers, 2000 - Education - 234 pages
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Kimmy's family is having chicken as the evening's main course. As Kimmy eats, she pauses. "How do they make chicken bones?" she asks as she casually inspects the piece she is holding. "They're part of chickens," her mom says, matter-of-factly. "We don't make them."

Kimmy's expression suddenly turns to one of horror. "You mean this used to be a real chicken, like on Old Macdonald's Farm?" she wails, dropping the piece she is holding. "I'm never gonna eat chicken again!"

Here an innocent question about something that baffles this six-year-old leads her in a direction she had not imagined possible. Her mom's response provides anomalous information that shocks her; it challenges her existing view of what bones (and perhaps even chicken) really are. In the end, she constructs a new (evidently disturbing) connection. The chickens we eat are indeed the chickens that roam about on farms (or used to). From this moment forward, the meaning of "chicken dinner" will never be the same for Kimmy.

Using dozens of stories of real kids like Kimmy, Jean Anne Clyde and Mark Condon bring to life fundamental concepts about learners,learning, and teaching. They believe that when teachers want a fresh perspective on the kind of learning that is possible in classrooms, they must first examine how children really learn--not in the controlled context of school, but in out-of-school settings, where kids like Kimmy have learned successfully since birth. By inviting you to help analyze these stories, Get Real will help you become a sophisticated "kidwatcher," able to recognize, appreciate, and capitalize on natural learning strategies. You can create rich curricular experiences that encourage kids to refine and expand their natural learning strategies in the classroom.

Get Real

  • examines the everyday contexts that support children's learning so you can make those qualities a part of your own classroom;
  • offers an extensive discussion of tools such as multiple literacies;
  • provides illustrations of children's work and the significant artifacts from their world that prompted their learning experiences;
  • helps you appreciate the multitude of resources for learning and teaching that exist outside of school;
  • moves learning from the real world to theory to practice with a collection of specific strategies for you to follow;
  • includes a self-assessment that links theory to practice to help you identify your strengths and target areas for growth.

Whether you are an inservice or preservice teacher, Get Real will help you recognize and build on kids' natural learning strategies to create a learner-centered classroom that maximizes success for all children.

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