Power of Our Words

Teacher Language that Helps Children Learn

Paula Denton


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Learn how teachers can use language—words, tone, and pace—to increase student engagement, build a positive classroom community, and more effectively manage behavior by helping children develop confidence, competence, and self-control.

In this warm and thought-provoking guide, Paula Denton offers practical tips, real-life anecdotes, and concrete examples, including specific suggestions about language to adopt and language to avoid. Topics include:

  • Using language to help children envision success
  • Open-ended questions that stretch children’s thinking
  • Listening and using silence skillfully
  • The 3 Rs of teaching language: reinforcing, reminding, and redirecting
  • Saying what you mean and meaning what you say giving brief, concrete instructions offering meaningful, specific encouragement

The Power of Our Words advocates a sensible approach to teacher language that is backed by research and proven through decades of successful practice in elementary classrooms nationwide. It offers ideas beginners can try immediately and a wealth of guidance and support for those already engaged in the process of rethinking their practice.

The Power of Our Words is the core text in the Teacher Language Professional Development Kit.

Free discussion questions now available! These chapter-by-chapter questions will deepen your learning and help you apply the book’s strategies to your own setting.

When we polled Responsive Classroom teachers, they named The Power of Our Words one of four books every elementary teacher should have.


Copyright ©2013 Center for Responsive Schools, Inc
Item #: 193
Length: 180 pages
ISBN: 978-1-892989-59-8