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Power of Our Words, The: Teacher Language That Helps Children Learn Paperback – February 19, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1892989185 ISBN-10: 1892989182 Edition: 1st

11 New from $14.08 28 Used from $9.95
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Paperback, February 19, 2007
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.; 1st edition (February 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892989182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892989185
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is filled with stories and examples for using words effectively to deal with just about every challenging situation you can think of. It is a wonderful guide for teachers on how their choice of words and tone of voice can make the difference between encouragement and discouragement.

--Jane Nelsen, EdD, author of the Positive Discipline series of books

Generous in its practical examples, The Power of Our Words also clarifies the principles behind using constructive language in the classroom. The book calls on us to remember that teaching is not a monologue, but a dialogue.

--Carol Ann Tomlinson, EdD, Professor of Leadership, Foundations & Policy, The University of Virginia

This book is filled with stories and examples for using words effectively to deal with just about every challenging situation you can think of. It is a wonderful guide for teachers on how their choice of words and tone of voice can make the difference between encouragement and discouragement for children. --Jane Nelsen, EdD, author of the Positive Discipline series of books

About the Author

Paula Denton began teaching children in 1982 and working as a Responsive Classroom consulting teacher in 1990. She is currently manager of program development at Northeast Foundation for Children. Paula has taught pre-service teachers at Antioch New England Graduate School and the University of Massachusetts. She is the author of Learning Through Academic Choice and co-author of The First Six Weeks of School.


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Customer Reviews

This book is a must read for every teacher out there!
Jesicka A.
I highly recommend this book to teachers who want to improve their communication, interaction, classroom management and relationships with students and colleagues.
LCMCNAUGHTON
Denton's book is loaded with practical examples and an exceptional index of different types of language you can use for particular situations.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Jo Ann Warner on July 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a classroom teacher in inner city schools for 8 years, I have found myself immersed in school cultures which were disrespectful and authoritarian toward parents and students. This book presents a different approach to the teacher's role as a catalyst for learning. Well-grounded in pedagogical theory, it is pragmatic in its descriptions of how language that encourages motivation and responsibility might sound. For example, one area the book addresses well is the delivery of reinforcement. I have always felt that nonspecific praise such as "good job" didn't really help students understand what it was about their academic or behavioral improvement that merited recognition. It made me uncomfortable that feedback in this form made students dependent on my approval and tethered them to my judgment alone. This book helped me understand how I can clearly communicate evidence of growth to the student so that he or she can perceive that success. In "The Power of Our Words," Denton helps teachers envision how they can communicate with students in ways which promote personal and intellectual engagement. She offers supportive suggestions to help teachers figure out how they might change their own style of language. Finally, the book inspires the hope that as we hone the clarity of our messages in classroom speech, we will be more efficacious in helping students become autonomous, reflective, and motivated learners. I believe that is a major key to closing the achievement gap.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By LCMCNAUGHTON on May 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
Paula Denton's book has proved immensely helpful for me in my work coaching teachers to reflect on and enhance their teaching practice. Her suggestions for refining teacher language are practical and immediately accessible for both experienced and "rookie" teachers. I highly recommend this book to teachers who want to improve their communication, interaction, classroom management and relationships with students and colleagues.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on November 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
We are two teachers who teach 2nd grade and kindergarten. We read this book as part of our graduate class, Advanced Educational Psychology. The Power of Our Words: Teacher Language that Helps Children Learn is an informative, well organized book that is a quick read. It is written by Paula Denton who is an educator in the elementary setting who has Responsive Classroom training. We highly recommend this book to anyone who interacts with children (educators and parents) and wishes to use language to help them succeed and learn.
The book is organized into 7 chapters and includes easy-to-read examples, charts, and even appendices to help the reader apply the strategies. The book is based upon 5 guidelines for how to speak to children: be direct and authentic, convey faith in children's ability and intentions, focus on actions, keep it brief, and know when to be silent.
As educators, we have started to implement strategies in our own classrooms with success. The students have responded in a positive way and the strategy has promoted a calmer classroom climate. We recommend starting out small. Focus on one aspect of your language you wish to change. Trying to tackle all strategies at once will be overwhelming.
Most teachers have heard that you should praise children for their work and efforts. Most of can say, "I like the way Johnny is standing in line." This lets Johnny know that he stands in line quietly to please his teacher. Instead, we should say, "Some students are remembering the procedures for standing in our line." This gives the responsibility to the student.
Good luck! It is a worthwhile read!

Bethany & Rebecca
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Tyner on February 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book three weeks ago and I find it one of the most useful books I own. It is written well and packed with practical ways to create a positive learning environment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book will change your teaching! So many of our classroom challenges can be conquered by changing our language. Often we manipulate and pit children against each other unintentionally with our language. Denton's book is loaded with practical examples and an exceptional index of different types of language you can use for particular situations. Before you change any other aspect of your teaching, consider reading Denton's The Power of Our Words, as small changes in your language can lead to big positive changes in your classroom. A great resource for veteran and novice teachers!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Nunez VINE VOICE on August 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent read for educators at all grade levels and stages of their careers, and it highlights an important, yet often overlooked, tool teachers use most often in the classroom: our words and language. I can't recommend this book highly enough to fellow educators; author Denton really makes you think about how your words and tone of voice impact your students. This may seem like a 'common sense' sort of topic, but in reading this short, accessible book, you realize that language is an essential tool of teaching and one that really takes skill and practice to use effectively. I especially liked that Denton included a whole chapter on effective listening, which I think is often left out of the teaching equation when we get wrapped up in how much curriculum we have to cover, etc. This is a quick and worthwhile read for all educators, especially those in the classroom. Highly recommend it.
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