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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Teach to the Duck

Charlie has an extensive rubber duck collection. Blue, pink, and yellow ducks of various sizes fill up the bathtub each night. It should be no surprise that sometimes Charlie talks to his rubber ducks.

It got me to thinking that rubber ducks are underutilized in teacher preparation programs. Like many teachers, I used to go over my lessons in my head on the way to school. I remember being surprised when what I said in class sounded rushed or clunky. Of course, the problem was that there is a difference between thinking the words and actually saying them. So why not go over lessons aloud, with a rubber duck? Before you laugh, think about the importance of verbalizing lessons to students. Talking through a lesson with a prop—like a rubber duck—allows us to better pace our delivery and to avoid clunky sounding words and phrases.

My advice to teachers—start teaching to the duck.

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