After being a tent camper for years and years, I recently purchased a teardrop camper. I bought it mainly for security and safety while traveling. I hope to join some communities of women campers to make more friends and connections.

I am a reader and a writer; a momma and a grandma; a sister and a daughter. I have been a teacher and librarian for over 25 years. I used to blog here for new teachers, but now I have changed to blogging about my travels, and just for fun.

I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Management Monday III – Cushioning

The rationale behind cushioning is to reduce student worries related to learning and to produce confident, dynamic learners. The strategy involves the teacher reinforcing the notions that everybody makes mistakes and everyone needs time to think and learn. To do that you need to remind students of those notions and discuss how people learn. Cushioning is most effective if used frequently and especially before students are asked to participate in a class discussion or learning activity.

You may have signs posted in your room stating that “everybody makes mistakes” or “everyone needs time to think and learn.” Signs are only the first step in a process of reducing learning anxieties and creating confidence in learners. Teachers must be reminiscent and support those statements throughout the day.

Reminding students at the beginning of a lesson that they can learn from mistakes and no one will be judgmental of any statements that come out of the lesson will minimize their discomfort and fear of making mistakes.

Cushioning during the lesson is useful in guiding student learning through questioning techniques. For example, if a student answers a question and the answer is not quite correct, using guided questioning will help the student “save face” and continue to learn without embarrassment.

Support students with statements such as “you can learn more when you help each other,” and “you can accept and support one another’s learning by letting others have time to think.” Share with students the different ways people learn. Let them know that their way is okay and that other students should respect their learning style.

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