Yesterday we tried the response technique of NEWS.  I wrote NEWS vertically on the whiteboard and some of the children noticed right away and wondered, “What is news?”

I said we will use that to remember our day and see what we learned and what we are thinking.  I like this method of reflection:

New Exciting Wonder Spiritual

Near the end of the day, we went over this and it was good to see the children thinking back over the day and to hear their responses to the day’s learning and events.  We took several answers, discussed them, and came up with “Contractions, Self-Control, and Reading” for New.  Great!  We had worked with contractions in phonics, self-control with the fruits of the Spirit, and we always work on Reading.  The Exciting event was the Valentine’s party! We Wondered how many hearts are in our classroom, and the Spiritual reflection was on Jesus dying on the cross to forgive us.  I wrote short answers beside the letters and this morning we went over this and remembered yesterday.

Another response technique that I like to use is New Thinking, Apply, Challenge, and Comfort.  I have not tried this with first-grade yet, but I have done it for my own learning and reflection.  After reading a devotional, passage, or story, consider it and respond with New Thinking for me, how I can Apply something from the reading, find a Challenge for myself, and find a Comfort?

After reading a devotional and accompanying scripture about Solomon, I wrote:

The new thinking for me is realizing how small Solomon felt when he became king.  “I am a little child,” he said.  I usually think of Solomon as very confident, wise, and “with it.”  It is interesting to think of him being this humble and teachable at the beginning of his reign.

The idea of being a child is intriguing to me.  I think of how my students forgive, encourage, and love.  I should apply their attitudes in my life.  I can also apply the ideas from the devotional of asking for wisdom.  Too often when faced with a difficult situation, I start to think and plan how I can solve this.  I try to do it myself, when I need to pray and ask for wisdom first.

My challenge is to ask God for wisdom to lead in my classroom and school “in a way that would please God and help others” and to listen to God and follow His wisdom.  Thinking of teaching, I put myself in I Kings 3:7-9, “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.  Your servant is here among the students you have chosen.  So give your servant a discerning heart to teach your children and to distinguish between right and wrong.  For who is able to teach these children of yours?”

It is very comforting to think that God has everything I need.  He has all the wisdom, greatness, love, strength, and encouragement that I need.  He has it and He loves to share it!

These two response methods would work with most classes and/or topics.  I used them in graduate-level class assignments, and now have used NEWS with first grade.  I would like to try the second method with first grade as well, and capture their thoughts on those four cues.

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Sharon Martin

7 years ago

NEWS – what a fantastic but simple and efficient way to reflect as a group. Thank you for sharing.

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