The Thoughtful Classroom
The tools in this book enhance and complement so many ways in which students can build the habits of mind. Our comprehensive approach to professional development is designed to help every school and district make and support five strategic commitments.
Harvey F. Silver is the co-founder and president of Silver Strong & Associates and Thoughtful Education Press. He was named one of the most influential teachers in the country. Mr. Silver has more than three decades of experience as an educator, presenter, coach and consultant.
With the late Richard Strong, Silver developed The Thoughtful Classroom. A renowned professional development initiative dedicated to “Making students as important as standards.”
In an interview, Silver says “The biggest mistake I made is that I thought if other teachers taught how I taught they would be successful. That was very foolish. Differences really count.”
Tyrone Olverson is a Senior Associate at Silver Strong & Associates. He has over two decades of public education experience in urban, suburban and rural school communities. Olverson has been successful at helping turn around under-performing districts by building strong collaborative relationships among staff, students and stakeholders in the community.
As a result of his personal and professional experiences, Tyrone values a “village” approach of education that involves all stakeholders. His focus on instructional leadership and research-based best practices has proven highly effective. Promoting student equity and helping underserved populations achieve excellence is Mr. Olverson’s ultimate goals.
Queen K (Kim Gresham) is the author of The Little Green Dress children’s book series. It encompasses both balanced literacy and multicultural education. This series incorporates cognitive and social domains by including the understanding one’s family history and traditions. Easy site words touch on the language aspect of learning, asking who? What? When and Why? The emotional and creative side comes once a child can express pride and love for family traditions, with subsequent desire to create traditions with their own families. Numbering of pages and dates throughout the series round out the math domain covered in this five-book series. Art is also included as each page is an imaginary masterpiece. I wanted this series to capture lively and vivid colors.
My goal is to teach family history and traditions to children. To celebrate who we are and why we are. Everyone’s heritage and culture are lifelong lessons that should be celebrated at home and at school. The tools provided along with The Little Green Dress series will enlighten family’s about where they have been and where they are headed. All we leave is our legacy.
The Thoughtful Classroom
All successful classrooms, regardless of content area or grade level share four common elements:
1. Organization, rules, and procedures
2. Positive relationships
3. Engagement and enjoyment
4. A culture of thinking and learning
Tools for A Successful School Year by Harvey Silver shows you how to make these “Four Cornerstones” the guiding principles of your classroom. With more than 20 classroom-ready tools to develop these cornerstones, this book gives you the practical techniques you need to make this year your most successful yet – starting day one.
Yearning for Learning.
One “Tool” described in Harvey Silver's book Tools for a Successful School Year, the “Community Circle” is a discussion technique that encourages students to share their prior knowledge, experiences and opinions as they explore critical content collaboratively. In the classroom, teachers will use this tool along with The Little Green Dress series. The collaboration between the two is the perfect pairing of personal learning and instruction.
Tools for Igniting Curiosity by Harvey Silver helps teachers to first ignite the fire in students for learning. Second to fan the flame of curiosity to keep the fire burning for knowledge. Lastly, the goal is to create an inner fire within the student that inspires them to pursue their own natural curiosity for themselves and for life, a “yearning for learning.”
The Little Green Dress
The Little Green Dress children’s book series by Queen K speaks directly to sparking a child’s curiosity. The natural desire to know one’s self is a given. Where does a child’s curiosity start? At home with their family. Questions like, “Why do we keep this ratty old blanket? How come you won’t throw it away?”
“My great, great, great grandmother hand stitched this quilt. Her mother taught her how to stitch when she was twelve years old. It’s been in our family for years.”
This one exchange, this one discovery will spark enthusiasm for family history. The Little Green Dress series is the spark that will ignite your child’s curiosity. A family history lesson with complete strategic instructions is The Little Green Dress in The Thoughtful Classroom.
The Little Green Dress in The Thoughtful Classroom
The Thoughtful Classroom and The Little Green the Dress combination allows teachers, students to get started immediately on cultivating diverse classroom culture. Strategic instruction coupled with the discovery of one’s family history and traditions, is a strong springboard for personalized learning. As educators it is our job to instill self-motivation and a passion for learning.
Learning is a highly personal act. In Thoughtful Classroom schools, all teachers have a wealth of ways to learn about the talents, strengths, needs, and aspirations to the students in their classroom. More important, teachers use what they learn to differentiate instruction, boost student achievement and give every student a voice in the classroom. By committing to making learning personal, we can effectively accommodate and challenge all students so each may learn.