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All Great Ideas Begin by Talking Out Loud:

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Presentation on theme: "All Great Ideas Begin by Talking Out Loud:"— Presentation transcript:


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

3 Carol Take 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?

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 Karen This 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.

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? Carol To get everyone started with conversation, please use the die and follow the directions on slide. Identify individuals to share some group thinking and conversation.

6 What is Academic Language?
Phonology Vocabulary Academic & Technical Grammar Sentence Frames Sociolinguistics Cooperative Learning Structures Discourse Language of Product - Genre Darina So 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 mathematician Organization Text Structure Register (formal v. informal) Academic Language is the language students use to describe complex ideas, abstract concepts & higher order thinking

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

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

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

10 Integrating Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies

11 Three 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 perspectives Three types of argument: Social Arguments Literacy Argument Nonfiction Topic Carol

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

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, Carol

14 The 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 Frost 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, 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. Carol’s example Socratic Dialogue

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 Carol

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 Darina Another instructional strategy that involves conversations around divergent ideas – Structure

17 Scaffolding Academic Controversy
It was the __________’s opinion that barbed wire led to _______. While ________ felt that barbed wire was _________, ________ felt that it ___________.. Darina Example from 7th grade Social Studies According to ______ barbed wire is _______ because____________.

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. Darina So take a look at this quote and how might it relate to the previous examples – The Walt Whitman quote Pictures of the use of barbed wire How, in structuring and scaffolding conversation, has student knowledge and learning been impacted? Both examples show perspectives and controversies…

19 Darina

20 Student Talk vs. Teacher Talk
ACADEMIC CONVERSATIONS TRADITIONAL CLASS DISCUSSIONS 97% student talk 97% 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” Karen Take 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

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

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

23 Academic Conversation
Journey to Student Driven Academic Conversation 4 Leadership 3 Listening Learn how to share leadership with the teacher. Learn how to lead the group. 2 Cooperation 1 Participation 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. Become aware of problems like factions and dominance. Work together to enable all members to speak. Karen Learn to speak to each other with minimal mediation by facilitator. Learn discussion skills Invest in process through sharing experience.

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… Karen – Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair up Conversation starters: I would ____ in order to ______. If ___, I would use _____.

25 Academic Conversation Skills Placemat
x Karen © 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 Carol

27 How might I apply this information in my school?
Karen 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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