Here are some questions/statements I have answered in my education career.
1. Is this homework? When is it due? I write my agenda (day’s plans) on the whiteboard in my classroom and put an asterisk/star by the homework. I even write the letters HW by the assignment so that it is visible. Homework is due the next day unless I specifically tell you a different date. I post my agenda on a PowerPoint daily and read it aloud at the beginning of each class each and every day I am present in the classroom. I am predictable about starting my class.
2. Why do I need to put my last name on it? I tell them that once they become world famous like Cher, Madonna, or Sting, then they can use one name as their moniker, and I’ll be more than happy to do the same, but until that time, I still need your last name on your paper.
3. How old are you? I am as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth. I’ve joked about my pet dinosaur Sparky the T-Rex so that they know I am serious. I even tell them we used chisels and slates in school, so messing up a writing assignment was a real pain.
4. Can I sharpen my pencil? I respond, “Are you physically able to sharpen your pencil?” They respond affirmatively. I reply, “Great.” The student looks at me with some confusion. “Did you ask permission to sharpen you pencil?” I coach. “No, ma’am.” “How do you ask permission?” I say, “May I sharpen my pencil? Great! Please sharpen your pencil.”
5. “I don’t get it.” My response: “The sentence ‘I don’t get it’ is a statement, not a question. When you have a question, ask me. Please have a seat until then.” I want my students to use the proper language to express themselves. Tell me which part of the assignment is confusing, and then ask for my help.
I will add more to the mix as I progress along. More anon. ¡Ciao!