Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites Strategies 1 & 2

I am so excited to joining this mid-year book study.  Thank you, Kickin' It in Kindergarten for hosting these chapters.

This strategy focused on getting kids to talk to one another with purpose.   

In my classroom, I use a variety of tools to get kids talking to one another such as sentence frames and Think, Pair, Share.  One strategy that I like to use with students is Lines of Communication.   

Lines of Communication

During Lines of Communication, students sit in two rows facing one another.  Students take turns being the one who talks or the one who listens.  

In the picture above, one student is asking a survey question and recording the data.  That student will go down the line after my prompt to do so and ask the question of each person down the row.  The other side will respond to the different survey questions.  The next day, we switch roles.  I like when I am able to participate in the Lines of Communication because it gives me an opportunity to hear my students ask questions and to listen more attentively to the responses.  This strategy has been very effective in getting everyone to participate.  

My biggest take away from this section was that we need to embed purposeful talk into the day; 21st century learning.  A quiet classroom does not necessarily mean that children are learning.  
I am a visual learner.  I tend to learn better if I can see it and do it rather than just talk about it.  In my classroom, I try to incorporate art (and crafts) into my lessons as an extension of our learning.  

Here are a few examples of how I use art in my classroom to foster learning.  

For this lesson, students drew their own Pete the Cat subtraction stories.   

Here we integrated art and technology using Chatter Pix.  This one is one of my favorites!

My biggest take away from this strategy is that when children "play - draw, dance, and sing-" they are growing dendrites.  Isn't this what kindergarten is all about!?  Kindergarten should be more about play and less about testing. 

Looking forward to learning more.

Happy Teaching!


  1. I like the Lines of Communication strategy...great way to get everyone involved! Do this strategy usually involve graphing or do you modify it depending on the activity? (My kiddos this year LOVE to make graphs. It's funny because during free choice time they will make their own bar graphs with questions like: "Do you like candy or jellybeans better?" :)

    I've never heard of Chatter Pix - too cute! I'm going to have to try using it when my kids create their bug poems. Thanks for sharing!

    1. During Lines of Communication, it is nice to have a sentence frame for students to use so data collecting such as this makes it interesting because students are not being asked the same question 20 times.


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