31 Days of Sticky Teaching: No Abstract Language, Please

Abstract language provides such a challenge for teachers — and it only gets worse in the upper grades. We are talking and thinking about such abstract concepts as prejudice, power, and coming of age. These abstractions mean nothing to our students. When we use abstract language in our teaching, our learners REALLY get lost.
Sticky teaching avoids the language that eludes our learners. In the upper grades, this means not using cultural references that pre-date our learners (something we often do without realizing it). In the lower grades this is even more tricky. There is soooo much that is abstract to our young learners. They are concrete thinkers at their core, and any venture into abstract language is a trip into uncharted territory.

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