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All Great Ideas Begin by Talking Out Loud : Redesigning Classroom Conversations.

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Presentation on theme: "All Great Ideas Begin by Talking Out Loud : Redesigning Classroom Conversations."— Presentation transcript:


2 All Great Ideas Begin by Talking Out Loud : Redesigning Classroom Conversations


4 Outcomes for this Session Understand the importance of academic conversation Experience strategies that promote academic conversation Reflect on next steps for increasing academic conversation in your school

5 Conversation Cube Work with one to two others and toss the cube. Read the quote on top of the cube Reflect on quote & discuss: How does this relate to teaching and learning in your school?

6 What is Academic Language? Phonology Academic & Technical Vocabulary Sentence Frames Grammar Cooperative Learning Structures Sociolinguistics Language of Product - Genre Discourse

7 Builds self-efficacy by valuing experience, learning styles, and language Learner Identity Identify language and academic discourse of the content area Language Promote student to student communication in the classroom through cooperative learning structures Learning Community Facilitate knowledge construction around conceptual understanding by building on background knowledge and making connections Schema Building Metacognitio n

8 ACADEMIC Discourse Students listen and may answer 1 question at a time Unsupported opportunities: group discussions, pair- shares Scaffolded oral output: sentence frames, cooperative learning structures Extended academic discourse: quantity, quality, meaning creating

9 “Academic discourse not only describes knowledge, it sustains the creation of it.”

10 Integrating Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies

11 It is not about whose viewpoint is “right”... it is getting to deeper understandings with new and broader perspectives Three types of argument: 1.Social Arguments 2.Literacy Argument 3.Nonfiction Topic

12 Social Arguments Should chocolate milk be allowed in schools? Should soda be sold in school vending machines?

13 Literary Arguments Giving Tree – is tree weak or strong? Children learn to be more nuanced Lead to deeper understandings of abstract ideas Example: Socratic Seminar, wer.php?viewnode=194301d2a52ff

14 The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that, the passing there Had worn them really about the same, In Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken” is the poet ambivalent, self-assured, regretful, or adventuresome? How does this poem connect to the focus on increasing academic conversations in your school?

15 Nonfiction Argument What they know comes from the text Requires student to sort, weigh, and evaluate evidence Reasoning coupled with evidence Examples: Structured Academic Controversy, Debate

16 Academic Controversy Have you learned the lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed passage with you? Walt Whitman, 1860

17 Scaffolding Academic Controversy According to ______ barbed wire is _______ because____________. While ________ felt that barbed wire was _________, ________ felt that it ___________.. It was the __________’s opinion that barbed wire led to _______.

18 Academic Controversy exists when one student’s idea, information, conclusions, theories, and opinions are incompatible with those of another, and the two seek to reach an agreement. (Johnson & Johnson, 1995) Aristotle called this deliberate discourse - the discussion of advantages and disadvantages of proposed actions aimed at synthesizing novel solutions.


20 Student Talk vs. Teacher Talk ACADEMIC CONVERSATIONS TRADITIONAL CLASS DISCUSSIONS 97% student talk97% teacher talk Average student response – 8-12 seconds Average student response – 2-3 seconds No teacher approval or disapproval Teacher judgment; emphasis on correctness Thinking is paramount, backed up with textual evidence Rightness is paramount; thinking ends when someone is right Students listen primarily to peers Students listen primarily to teacher Student ownership for “flow”Teacher ownership for “flow”

21 Reading words or looking at a picture (Visual cortex) Understanding words (Wernicke’s area) What is happening in the brain?

22 Putting thoughts into words (Broca’s Area) Explaining thinking to a partner (Widespread activity)

23 Learn to speak to each other with minimal mediation by facilitator. Learn discussion skills Invest in process through sharing experience. Become aware of problems like factions and dominance. Work together to enable all members to speak. Work together to listen to each other and the text. Examine their assumptions and perspectives and how they differ from those of the text and one another. Begin to change their opinions because of what others say. Learn how to share leadership with the teacher. Learn how to lead the group. 1 Participation 2 Cooperation 3 Listening 4 Leadership Journey to Student Driven Academic Conversation

24 Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up  What is the purpose of using academic conversations?  Describe how you could support moving from talk to discourse in your building.  Conversation prompts:  Can you elaborate on that?  Please give an example.  I was wondering what you meant by…  To build on what you said… Conversation starters: I would ____ in order to ______. If ___, I would use _____.

25 x Academic Conversation Skills Placemat © Jeff Zwiers

26 To succeed in life, students should be able to write and speak with clarity, and to read and listen with comprehension. Language and thought are inextricably connected, and as students develop their linguistic skills, they hone the quality of their thinking and become intellectually and socially empowered. - Ernest Boyer, Carnegie Foundation

27 How might I apply this information in my school? What resources and support might I need? What professional development might my teachers need? Who at my school can help lead the way?

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