When I decided to use this quote for today's post, I immediately had what I thought was a grand idea. "I should make a list of school-type tasks that Smith might be referring to." This was immediately followed with, "Hmm, not sure I want to do that. What if some idea or activity from my room lands on the list?" My response was all the confirmation I needed. The list must happen. The odds are drastically high that there are school-type tasks in my own practice that seem useful and enjoyable but in the end are really just chores that lack meaning and application to the real world.
The unfortunate thing is that my list will be missing all of your input. I'm predicting that not everyone will like my list, and likely as not, I might not like everyone else's. If only we could all meet and share. I can just imagine the dialogue we could have as we question certain practices and advocate for others. It sounds like a challenging, but I believe, profitable professional development opportunity, much more beneficial than my isolated ideas. So as you read the remainder of this post, keep in mind that I'm not expecting complete agreement. This is just an opportunity to reflect on classroom practice and take instruction to the real-world level as much as possible.
DOL (Daily Oral Language)
isolated grammar exercises
weekly spelling tests
copying from the board
writing only to topics
round robin reading
an abundance of craftivities
isolated phonics activities or games
AR (that one might hurt)
I suppose that's a good enough place to stop. What I don't want to do is stop analyzing my practice. I know all too well how school-type tasks can camouflage themselves as useful and enjoyable. As a reflective teacher, it's my duty to look honestly and critically at what takes place day in and day out in that classroom of mine, even if it hurts a little.
P.S. Feel free to question or advocate when you comment. :)