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Rich Talk about Text P. David Pearson Graduate School of Education University of California, Berkeley

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1 Rich Talk about Text P. David Pearson Graduate School of Education University of California, Berkeley

2 Reminders from Scott Close Reading –What do you think? –What makes you think so? Teachers, like readers, develop both a text base and a situation model for the PD we offer to them. –Hence the variability in uptake and implementation. –Stay the course, just in time feedback… Teaching for Cognitive Engagement

3 Look for presentations by me Also a site to learn more about the work I am doing on science and literacy with primary grade kids.

4 Some assumptions You have in place a program of comprehension instruction for skills and strategies –Reciprocal Teaching –Transactional Strategies Instruction You have taken a position on what sort of assessments you are you going to use to assess students’ growth in reading –I like performance assessments--open ended, but…

5 This is a goal For every child In every classroom In every grade Being satisfied with good decoding and word recognition is not enough Being satisfied with great fluency is not enough It is comprehension, understanding, enjoyment, and insight for every child.

6 Talk about Text An environment rich in high-quality talk about text. –teacher-to-student –student-to-student talk. Many levels –Text base: clarifying and connecting –Situation model: relating, interpreting –Critique and evaluation

7 We have pretty good models and research on this score Instructional Conversations Questioning the Author Junior Great Books Book Club Literature Circle Grand Conversations Collaborative Reasoning Paidea Seminar Philosophy for Children Efferent Critical Analytic Aesthetic-Expressive

8 Murphy et al Meta-analysis What’s the underlying theory of all of these interventions? Change talk: focus and distribution Change understanding of text at hand Change comprehension repertoire

9 Summary findings Pre-post effects are more impressive than comparative effects. Most things work to a degree Kids get better with help…and maybe without it

10 Summary findings Effects are more impressive on researcher designed than distal measures. Transfer is hard or Standardized tests are insensitive.

11 Summary findings Stronger effects on talk than comprehension. Changes in participation are a necessary but not a sufficient condition for comp

12 Summary findings Some evidence of you get what you pay for, especially for critical thinking. Probably means you gotta do it all… Literal Inferential Critical

13 Summary findings Seems to be more important for average and low achievers Ironically, most of us spend more discussion time with the high achievers Beware self-delusion

14 Summary findings Time matters: longer is better Stay the course Ironically, we tend to discard things rapidly

15 Research failing Some don’t measure comprehension Don’t measure many types of comprehension Insist on measures of talk and comprehension. Measure many kinds of comprehension, including stuff not directly taught.

16 A great example from New Standards

17 Toughest Problem: Promoting higher level talk about text In our CIERA work, the good news is that when we see it, it improves learning and achievement, but… The bad news is that we don’t see it very much

18 Supporting talk about text

19 Same teacher--more scaffolding

20 Different Teacher--More Novice Kids: Even more scaffolding

21 Context The nature and amount of scaffolding is a matter of being responsive… Individuals Groups Texts and Tasks

22 Gradual Release of Responsibility Teacher Responsibility 100 0 0 Student Responsibility With any luck, we move this way (----->) over time. But we are always prepared to slide up and down the diagonal. Gradual Release of Responsibility

23 Changing Teacher Roles High Teacher Low Teacher Low StudentHigh Student Explicit Instruction Modeling Scaffolding Facilitating Participating Au and Raphael

24 From Duke & Pearson

25 Text Reader Activity Sociocultural Context The Rand Model A variant of Kintsch’s model

26 Questions for Stories Read the text for the big ideas Generate some probes to get at them –Go from general to specific So what is important about this story? So is this story more about the plot or the characters? So what does this story tell us about how human beings look out for one another? –Go for Response before Comprehension –Go for comprehension to support response or claims: facts in the service of claims about the world—Accountable Talk –Work for a unified understanding of plot, character, feelings, motives. Somewhere Somebody Wanted a Problem Solved…

27 Generating Questions for Expository Pieces Read the text Record what you think are the big ideas Read it again, looking for connections among the big ideas* Generate a set of questions that will get you the big ideas and the connections between them. *When you can’t find big ideas and relations among them, question whether to use the text!

28 Talk, Skills and Strategies Conversations about stories and informational texts can be a context in which a lot of good strategy instruction CAN occur, if we are willing to seize teachable moments (just in time teaching) to show kids how to use strategies to solve problems and make text sensible. That’s the genius of Instructional Conversations That’s what happens in good RT conversations.

29 Contextualizing what I have said A good model Solid instruction Thoughtful assessment Supportive instructional environment

30 What that supportive context can do... Daniella using all the cues

31 This is a Formula for a Renaissance (maybe a revival?)

32 Opportunity A great deal of time spent actually reading:

33 The nature of texts The texts are interesting and comprehensible and sufficiently varied so that all students can find texts to relate to (interest and motivation). Daily, students read texts that are personally interesting and easy to read. Why? So that students can consolidate their learning of skills and strategies. Also on a daily basis, students read, with teacher support, more challenging texts. Why? In order to stretch their knowledge and skill repertoire. Establish tomorrow’s prior knowledge.

34 The nature of texts in effective programs 1. While common sense suggests that some of these texts should allow students to apply the decoding and comprehension skills they are learning, there is precious little evidence to support the creation and use of special instructional texts for this purpose. 2. The current corpus of children’s books contains numerous texts that provide many of the opportunities students need.

35 Opportunity The big ruckus from the National Reading Panel Should we promote independent reading?

36 What people think NRP says Don’t provide time for independent reading.

37 What NRP really says The evidence is too sketchy to draw any conclusion one way or another… –About school-based programs to promote independent reading DEAR SSSR

38 My own view The lack of credible evidence one way or another is no basis for getting rid of programs that have other virtues Is reading the only phenomenon in human experience that doesn’t get better with practice If you do it, do it right and do it well –Make sure kids have things to read –Make sure kids DO read –Provide incentives and support

39 Comprehension Activities in K and early 1 In the context of teacher read alouds Why? –Texts that merit the sort of engagement and depth of thinking we want to promote. –Finesse the decoding issue Warning: You can’t stay there forever. Must get to texts kids read themselves

40 Authenticity Experience reading real texts for real reasons.

41 Beware the textoid problem When we select texts that have been especially written to permit some sort of skill activity We run the risk of reifying these texts Making real something that isn’t They only exist on tests and workbook materials designed to get you ready to take the tests.

42 How are Sue and Ellen’s grandmothers alike? –They both love their granddaughters –They both use e-mail –They both live on a farm How are they different? –They live in different places –They have different color hair –They are different ages Sue’s grandmother lives on a farm. Ellen’s grandmother lives in the city. Sue’s grandmother, who just turned 55, phones Sue every month. Ellen’s grandmother, who is also 55, sends Ellen e-mails several times a week. Both grandmothers love their granddaughters.

43 Range Experience reading at least the range of text genres that we wish students to comprehend. –Substantial experience reading and writing it. –No automatic transfer across genres

44 A special note on the narrative centrism in primary instruction Why shouldn’t we just focus on stories? We surely want to include instruction and activities in response to stories, but… We don’t want to limit our instruction and activities to stories –The range issue –The power of information –Individual differences in preference and interest

45 Vocabulary/Concept Development It really matters Later today

46 Enabling skills: Decoding, Fluency, and Monitoring Substantial facility in the accurate and automatic decoding of words. Necessary but not sufficient for comprehension

47 When rules get in the way…

48 Writing Lots of time spent writing texts for others to comprehend. Again, students should experience writing the range of genres we wish them to be able to comprehend. Their instruction should emphasize connections between reading and writing, developing students’ abilities to write like a reader and read like a writer.

49 Why Writing Helps Reading You can’t write without reading: the writer’s first reader. When you write, you often seek information through reading Writing makes the metaphor “constructing a model of meaning” completely explicit. Writing helps us decide what we really “think” about a topic (stares back at you). Writing makes metacognition transparent (makes monitoring visible)

50 Why Writing Helps Reading Writing reinforces some reading processes –An authentic context for phonemic awareness (listen to the word in parts, match a letter to each part) –Examining claim and support is like unearthing the relationship between MI and Details By the way, reading helps writing too--by providing good models of well-crafted prose, spelling, and punctuation.

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