2All Great Ideas Begin by Talking Out Loud: Redesigning Classroom Conversations
3CarolTake a minute and introduce yourselves to the people around you -- in groups of 4-5 – how does this cartoon relate to what you see in classrooms?
4Outcomes for this Session Understand the importance of academic conversationExperience strategies that promote academic conversationReflect on next steps for increasing academic conversation in your schoolKarenThis session is all about Academic Conversations as researched by Jeff Zwiers and others.We would like to emphasize the importance of conversation – that is talk – with students, share strategies that promote purposeful conversation, and provide time for you to reflect on how you might support academic conversation structures with your teachers.
5Conversation Cube Work with one to two others and toss the cube. Read the quote on top of the cubeReflect on quote & discuss:How does this relate to teaching and learning in your school?CarolTo get everyone started with conversation, please use the die and follow the directions on slide.Identify individuals to share some group thinking and conversation.
6What is Academic Language? PhonologyVocabularyAcademic & TechnicalGrammarSentence FramesSociolinguisticsCooperative Learning StructuresDiscourseLanguage of Product - GenreDarinaSo what is Academic LANGUAGE? More than conversation – and we need to build stamina for academic discourse.Discourse: The way a discipline talks and writes; How to talk like a scientist, historian, author or mathematicianOrganizationText StructureRegister (formal v. informal)Academic Language is the language students use to describe complex ideas, abstract concepts & higher order thinking
7Learner IdentityBuilds self-efficacy by valuing experience, learning styles, and languageLanguageIdentify language and academic discourse of the content areaLearning CommunityPromote student to student communication in the classroom through cooperative learning structuresSchema BuildingFacilitate knowledge construction around conceptual understanding by building on background knowledge and making connectionsMetacognitionDarinaSo, what exactly is academic conversation? They are broader than just “talk” or the conversation - important is that the student understands their role, part of a community, part of a schema -- a framework in your mind for the conversation – turn taking, responding to questions, etc. Together, this will collectively construct content knowledge and give students the capacity to understand their own thinking and ultimately, learning.
8Students listen and may answer 1 question at a time Unsupported opportunities: group discussions, pair-sharesScaffolded oral output: sentence frames, cooperative learning structuresDarinaMoving from Talk to DiscourseExtended academic discourse: quantity, quality, meaning creatingACADEMIC Discourse
9“Academic discourse not only describes knowledge, it sustains the creation of it.” Darina
10Integrating Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies Carol
11Three types of argument: Social Arguments Literacy Argument It is not about whose viewpoint is “right” it is getting to deeper understandings with new and broader perspectivesThree types of argument:Social ArgumentsLiteracy ArgumentNonfiction TopicCarol
12Social Arguments Should chocolate milk be allowed in schools? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjxpeAom5HUhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ4wGDl56ZgShould soda be sold in school vending machines?Carol
13Literary Arguments Giving Tree – is tree weak or strong? Children learn to be morenuancedLead to deeper understandingsof abstract ideasExample: Socratic Seminar,Carol
14The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost 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?The Road Not Taken by Robert FrostTwo roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowthThen 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 thereHad worn them really about the same,And both that morning equally layIn 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 sighSomewhere 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.Carol’s example Socratic Dialogue
15Nonfiction Argument What they know comes from the text Requires student to sort, weigh, and evaluate evidenceReasoning coupled with evidenceExamples: Structured Academic Controversy, DebateCarol
16Academic ControversyHave 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, 1860DarinaAnother instructional strategy that involves conversations around divergent ideas –Structure
17Scaffolding Academic Controversy It was the __________’s opinion that barbed wire led to _______.While ________ felt that barbed wire was _________, ________ felt that it ___________..DarinaExample from 7th grade Social StudiesAccording to ______ barbed wire is _______ because____________.
18Academic 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.DarinaSo take a look at this quote and how might it relate to the previous examples –The Walt Whitman quotePictures of the use of barbed wireHow, in structuring and scaffolding conversation, has student knowledge and learning been impacted?Both examples show perspectives and controversies…
20Student Talk vs. Teacher Talk ACADEMIC CONVERSATIONSTRADITIONAL CLASS DISCUSSIONS97% student talk97% teacher talkAverage student response – 8-12 secondsAverage student response – 2-3 secondsNo teacher approval or disapprovalTeacher judgment; emphasis on correctnessThinking is paramount, backed up with textual evidenceRightness is paramount; thinking ends when someone is rightStudents listen primarily to peersStudents listen primarily to teacherStudent ownership for “flow”Teacher ownership for “flow”KarenTake a look at this data comparing the traditional format for teacher led classes and discussions vs. teacher facilitating student conversation.???Think of the teachers in your school – which do you see as academic v. traditional
21What is happening in the brain? Reading words or looking at a picture (Visual cortex)Understanding words (Wernicke’s area)KarenDoing PET (positron emission tomography) scans on the brain can show which areas of the brain “light up” or fire when different specific acts are occurring.
22Putting thoughts into words (Broca’s Area) Explaining thinking to a partner (Widespread activity)KarenListening to spoken words automatically activates understanding the meaning, so Wernicke's area is activated. Saying words depends on controlling precisely the muscles of the face and mouth. so these areas area activated. Generating words depends on finding words and getting them ready to say, so Broca's area is activated.So having students engage in explaining their thinking (not merely social talk) they are firing off many more neurons and more synapses are connecting.
23Academic Conversation Journey to Student DrivenAcademic Conversation4Leadership3ListeningLearn how to share leadership with the teacher.Learn how to lead the group.2 Cooperation1ParticipationWork 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.Become aware of problems like factions and dominance.Work together to enable all members to speak.KarenLearn to speak to each other with minimal mediation by facilitator. Learn discussion skills Invest in process through sharing experience.
24Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair UpWhat 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…Karen – Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair upConversation starters:I would ____ in order to ______.If ___, I would use _____.
26To 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 FoundationCarol
27How might I apply this information in my school? KarenHow 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?