Teaching Students to Persevere

Need help motivating your students and ending learned helplessness?  Chapter 2 of "Reading Wellness" has just the trick with a concept that can be applied to all aspects of life.  Perfect for analyzing characters in text too.
Adventures in Literacy Land's book study on Reading Wellness: Lessons in Independence and Proficiency by Jane Miller Burkins and Kim Yaris continues today with Chapter 2.   Make sure to check out my intro post as well as yesterday's post on Chapter 1. Don't forget that you can access the book online (currently free from Stenhouse Publishers) if you want to check it out before purchasing.
Need help motivating your students and ending learned helplessness?  Chapter 2 of "Reading Wellness" has just the trick with a concept that can be applied to all aspects of life.  Perfect for analyzing characters in text too.

Do I have to?

How many times a day do you do things that you don't want to do?  Have you found ways to make these tasks more enjoyable?  Maybe you have a long car ride to work so you listen to podcasts to pass the time.  Maybe you hate folding laundry (me!) so you do if while watching your favorite shows on Netflix.   Maybe after a while you don't mind doing these tasks as much anymore and maybe you even start to look forward to them.  Either way, thinking about them positively makes them more bearable, right?

Chapter 2 discusses learning postures.  Attitude towards a task makes a huge difference.  In everything.  Maybe your toddler resists bedtime constantly but you've discovered YOUR positive attitude (or lack there of) makes or breaks it.  How can we as teachers help students become motivated to accept and embrace the challenges we present them with?  How do we keep them from getting discouraged before they have even begun and the learned helplessness that results?

Leaning In and Leaning Out

Burkins and Yaris use the terms "leaning in" and "leaning out" to help students understand the abstract concept of posture (referring to attitude rather than the way someone is sitting). We lean in and out toward tasks, objects, people, etc. all day long.  I lean out when it's time to do the laundry or cook dinner. I lean in when I read books to my daughter or just get out of the house.   I want to do these things and they have a positive effect on my attitude whereas the others do not.  I chose to lean in to this professional text by committing myself to blogging about each chapter.  I knew if I had to just post about one chapter, I wouldn't be as committed to truly reading the book.

What I love about this concept is how it can be applied in so many situations.  It can be used simply for students to express their like/dislike or attitude towards an action, but also to help understand characters in a text. After analyzing the way leaning in helps characters be more successful, the hope is that students will then apply the concept to their own actions.  Make sure to check out the text for a list of books ideal for teaching this concept, as well as detailed sample lessons.

I could definitely see students as young as even kinder or first being asked to "lean in" towards something and understanding that means they need to give it their best shot.

Meeting the Intentions of the Text

As I explained in my introduction to the text, the authors have four main intentions with each lesson in the book and end each chapter explaining how they are met.  
Need help motivating your students and ending learned helplessness?  Chapter 2 of "Reading Wellness" has just the trick with a concept that can be applied to all aspects of life.  Perfect for analyzing characters in text too.

What can YOU do to help your students (or even yourself!) "lean in" to their work/and or your lessons?

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Need help motivating your students and ending learned helplessness?  Chapter 2 of "Reading Wellness" has just the trick with a concept that can be applied to all aspects of life.  Perfect for analyzing characters in text too.

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