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Nancy Hulan, May 2008 What the Students will Say While the Teacher is Away: Encouraging Student-Led Discussions Nancy F. Hulan College of Education and.

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Presentation on theme: "Nancy Hulan, May 2008 What the Students will Say While the Teacher is Away: Encouraging Student-Led Discussions Nancy F. Hulan College of Education and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 What the Students will Say While the Teacher is Away: Encouraging Student-Led Discussions Nancy F. Hulan College of Education and Human Development University of Louisville Jefferson County Public Schools Louisville, Kentucky

2 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Context of this Study Due to No Child Left Behind and Reading First implementation, many schools and districts have adopted prescriptive literacy curricula to insure adherence to mandates. Within scripted programs teacher-talk dominates; student discussion is rare to nonexistent. Within guided reading groups interruptions may offer opportunities for student-led discussion.

3 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Theoretical Frame Transactional theory (Rosenblatt,1969): the meaning of a text derives from a transaction between the text and reader within a specific context Sociocultural Theory: learning is a social and interactive process in which students appropriate abilities and understandings through guided participation in activities (Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 1991). Through discussion and opportunities to respond to text, students have opportunities to reflect upon their own lives, while expanding their knowledge and views (Langer, 1994; McLaughlin & DeVoogd, 2004; Rosenblatt, 1969; Sipe, 1999).

4 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Teacher-led discussion Scaffolding from the more experienced teacher Guidance into themes (Durkin, 1990). Bring conversation back to a text when a topic is not relevant (Ballenger, 1999).

5 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Teacher-led discussions DANGERS: Students may develop a view of the teacher as the interpretive authority (Almasi, 1995, p. 334). Students can quickly become disengaged in a discussion if they dont feel accepted. IRE may put students in passive role (Cazden, 1988; Mehan, 1979) To prevent this, teachers encourage a free exchange of ideas (Almasi, McKeown, Beck, 1996) within a democratic classroom culture of acceptance (McIntyre, Kyle, & Moore, 2006).

6 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Student-led Discussion Can offer a sense of freedom (Vygotsky, 1978) to shape viewpoints away from the judgment of the teacher (Almasi, McKeown, Beck, 1996; Leal, 1993). Students lead the agenda (Almasi, 1995). More opportunities to talk (Knoeller, 1994). More exploratory talk (Leal, 1993; Mercer, 1995) occurs leading to more cognitive conflicts. Such conflicts may lead to deeper understandings of an issue and increased individual growth and development (Keefer, Zeitz, Resnick, 2000; Leal, 1993).

7 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Student-led discussion Dangers: Dominant students may remain in power. Teachers must teach HOW to talk equitably (Lewis, 1995). If students are not explicitly taught to do this, they may get off topic, lose interest, or wind up having procedural conflicts.

8 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Value in both practices In a study of 4th grade students, Almasi & Gambrell (1994) found that: students in peer-led discussions were better at identifying and resolving episodes of conflict within literature than those in teacher-led discussions. students in teacher-led groups were better at identifying the person or character experiencing the conflict in a text. Both student-led and teacher-led discussions are valuable pedagogical practices.

9 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Research Questions What types of responses to literature occur in reading groups in this 3 rd grade classroom? How do students responses differ among ability groups? What types of responses to literature occur in reading groups in the absence of the teacher in this 3 rd grade classroom? How do the reader responses of the different groups and differ or compare?

10 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Participants One 3 rd grade classroom (n=25) in an elementary school in Southeastern United States Population of the school is 400 students, with 84% of students receiving free and reduced lunch. School chosen based on Rigby Literacy K-3 use and the researchers participation in Every1 Reads program in the school. 3 reading groups: Word Wizards read two years below 3rd grade level Book Blasters read one year below 3rd grade level Paperback Posse read on 3 rd grade level.

11 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Methodology Weekly 1.5 hour visits during guided reading groups and center time for a total of 15 hours of observations. Systematic Observations and Field Notes (etic) Audio recording (etic) Compilation of the two previous records to form a more complete picture (etic) Student surveys (emic) Casual conversations with the teacher (emic)

12 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Data analysis Coded according to 1) dialogue patterns and later according to 2)response strategies Records of reading groups were coded according to teacher and student behaviors and later according to response patterns, using the constant comparative method (Patton,1990). Interrater reliability 94% on coding. One code was added: Word Work

13 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Response strategies Report: statements that produced no extension of the text; answers or statements came directly from the texts with no need for analysis or further thought. Example: Teacher: And whats the wife say? Student: I have to do all of this stuff. [report] (Field notes )

14 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Connections The most basic of links between text and the self, text and another text or artifact, or text and the world (Keene & Zimmerman, 1997). Students can view new ideas in terms of set beliefs (Langer, 1994; Wilhelm, 1997). Connections include comparisons and contrasts. Connections often lead readers to (a) look at new ideas in terms of their already set beliefs or (b) use new ideas to reconsider those set beliefs (Langer, 1997).

15 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Elaborations Can be based on connections or they can be ideas that the student comes up with in order to fill gaps in a story (Wilhelm, 1997). Allow a reader to furthers ideas from the text through knowledge and ideas, rethinking story elements into the grand scheme of the story or in terms of a real-life situation (Langer, 1994; Wilhelm, 1997). Children can place themselves in the story through a desire to be a part of the plot (Wollman-Bonilla & Werchadlo, 1999). An elaboration can involve the reader in a What if…? journey, making up alternative endings or avenues for the characters of a story.

16 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Evaluation Involve students in the act of making judgments about what happens within a text. Question the validity of ideas from the author, the reader, or from within the text itself (Wilhelm, 1997). A reader appraises, argues, defends, or supports an aspect of the reading experience.

17 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Clarifications Readers think aloud, talk through, or express themselves to better understand text. This may manifest in students own revisions of interpretations (Wilhelm, 1997). Here, students made clarifications through (a) discussion of ideas with others, (b) talking out personal dilemmas or experiences, and (c) questioning of others. These were used to better understand self, characters, settings, situation, actions, or a book as a whole. Clarifications were also used here to check or make predictions about stories.

18 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Findings: Teacher-led vs. Student-led responses A total of 653 responses were coded. Of those, 561 occurred while the teacher was present and 92 occurred in the absence of the teacher. Within teacher-led discussions, 42% of student responses consisted of direct reporting of information straight from the book In contrast, students exhibited responses of this type in only 17% of responses to text in student- led discussions.

19 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Findings: Responses by ability groups Paperback Posse (on grade level) was the only group that used all of these response types. Development of response patterns that coincides with the development of the reader. This may signify that those students who read below grade level use one response strategy the majority of the time, and need to be exposed to others. The success of a reader (defined here as comprehending texts on or above grade level) may be a direct reflection of a students ability to respond to text in various ways.

20 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Findings: Total responses by ability group When we look at responses by group of total discussion (teacher and student led) we see: All response types are used by each group. This may indicate that the lower ability groups are being exposed to all response types in the presence of the teacher. What does this mean concerning student development of response strategies?

21 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Students involved in peer discussion: Valued reading significantly more than their counterparts in control condition Became more accepting and tolerant of other students (except for newcomers) Discussions more focused on text Offered more linguistically complex responses Used egalitarian patterns of discourse (leading to fewer social isolates or stars) Kindergarten through third graders were able to participate. Almasi, Palmer, Garas, Cho, Ma, Shanahan, & Augustino (2004).

22 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 So how do I begin? Start with activities to engage students in the process and gradually lead to peer discussions. Think Pair Share (Turn to your neighbor) 4 Corners Jig Saw (Buckner & Kirk, 2007) Collaborative experiences and response activities as a class (Maloch, 2002) Students share questions

23 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Teach kids how to Listen Make eye contact Give others time to finish explaining their ideas. Ask follow-up questions of peers. Make a transition between what the previous speaker said and what you want to add.

24 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 How to… Use linguistic connectors (I like how X did Y, I agree that …) to build on one anothers comments (Maloch, 2002) Refer to literature response logs or response starters for topic ideas. Acknowledge a peers contribution with a thank you or by restating their comment (Maloch, 2002). Use evidence from the book

25 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Reader Response Starters I wonder… I began to think of… I suppose… I dont see… I like the idea… I understand… I know the feeling… I noticed… I was surprised… I cant really understand… I love the way… I thought… I wish… Ill bet… Why did… If I were… Maybe… The author… The character… This reminds me of… This makes me feel…

26 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 What else? Reaffirm student ownership Provide follow-up questions Encourage students to go PAST retelling When stuck on same techniques, offer alternatives Use and encourage open-ended questions Model and explicitly teach such concepts as linking topics and managing the group process (Almasi, OFlahavan, Arya, 2001).

27 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Give students roles in discussions Question Generator Word Wizard Connector Materials Master Elaborator Summarizer Illustrator Discussion Director Travel Tracer Even when teachers dont assign specific roles students sometimes assume roles spontaneously! (Evans, 1996)

28 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Practice! Allow students to pick their group sometimes and assign at other times. Watch out for saboteurs. Use conflicts within groups as teachable moments. Foster a culture of acceptance in your classroom! At times require exit tickets, collaborative work, or presentations for sharing of discussions findings.

29 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Name ____________________________________ Vocabulary Illustration Directions: Choose a word for each square from the Vocabulary Box. Write the word in the box and draw a picture showing what the word means. Nancy Hulan, 2007

30 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 Your ideas….. Spiderweb: start with concept in middle of spiderweb- draw lines coming out from that and students contribute ideas to web that show the relationship between whats in the middle and someone/something in the text Pictionary with explanations of pictures and vocabulary meanings Use high interest topics Students write questions that they have and pass them around to be added to by other students Book clubs and literature circles Buzz groups after independent reading- students share what theyve been reading with one another Questions written on cards, balls, dice, etc. for students to practice responding to text with a variety of questions Book advertisements

31 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 References Almasi, J.F. (1995). The nature of fourth graders sociocognitive conflicts in peer-led and teacher-led discussions of literature. Reading Research Quarterly,30(3), Almasi & Gambrell, 1994 Almasi, J.F. & Gambrell, L.B. (Spring, 1994). Sociocognitive conflict in peer-led and teacher-led discussions of literature (Reading Research Report No. 12). Athens, GA: National Reading Research Center. Almasi, J.F., McKeown, M.G., Beck, I.L. (1996). The nature of engaged reading in classroom discussions of literature. Journal of Literacy Research, 28(1), Almasi, J.F., OFlavan, J.F., Arya, P. (2001). A comparative analysis of student and teacher development in more and less proficient discussion of literature. Reading Research Quarterly, 36(2), Almasi, J., Palmer, B.M., Garas, K., Cho, H., Ma, W., Shanahan, L., & Augustino, A. (2004). A Longitudinal Investigation of the Influence of Peer Discussion of Text on Reading Development in grades K-3. Ballenger, C. (1999). Teaching other peoples children: Literacy and learning in a bilingual classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.

32 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 References Buckner, B. & Kirk, B.(2007). Is it really discussion or are you just asking questions. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Reading Association Cazden, C. (1988). Classroom discourse: The language of teaching and learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Durkin, D. (1990). Dolores Durkin speaks on instruction. The Reading Teacher, 43 (7), Evans,K.S. (1996). Creating spaces for equity? The role of positioning in peer-led literature discussions. Language Arts, 73 (3), Keefer, Zeitz, Resnick, (2000). Judging the quality of peer-led student dialogues. Cognition and Instruction, 18(1), Keene, E.O. & Zimmerman, S. (1997). Mosaic of Thought. Portsmouth: Heinemann. Knoeller, C.P. (1994). Negotiating interpretations of text: The role of student-led discussions in understanding literature. Journal of Reading, 37, Langer, J. (1994). A response-based approach to reading literature. Language Arts, 71, 3,

33 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 References Langer, J. (1997). Literacy through literature. Journal of adolescent and Adult Literacy, 40 (8), Leal, D. (1993). The power of literary peer-group discussions: How children collaboratively negotiate meaning. The Reading Teacher, 47(2), Lewis, C. (1995). Literature as a cultural practice in a fifth/sixth grade classroom. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English, San Diego, CA. Maloch, B. (2002). Scaffolding student talk: One teachers role in literature discussion groups. Reading Research Quarterly, 37 (1), McLaughlin, M., & DeVoogd, G. (2004, September). Critical Literacy as Comprehension: Expanding Reader Response. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 48(1), 52–62. McIntyre, E., Kyle, D.W., & Moore, G. (2006). A Primary-Grade Teachers Guidance Toward Small-Group Dialogue. Reading Research Quarterly, 41 (1), Mehan, H. (1979). Learning lessons: Social organization in the classroom. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Mercer, N. (1995). The guided construction of knowledge. Bristol, PA: Multilingual Matters.

34 Nancy Hulan, May 2008 References Raphael, T. & Goatley, V. (1992, April). What are we supposed to talk about?: Student purposes during peer-led discussion groups across subject matter areas. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, san Francisco, CA. Rosenblatt, L. (1969) Towards a transactional theory of reading. Journal of Reading Behavior, 1(1), ; Sipe, L. (1999). Childrens response to literature: Author, text, reader, context. Theory into Practice, 38 (3), Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Wertsch, J.V. (1991). Voices of the mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Wilhelm, J. (1997). You Gotta BE the Book. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Wollman-Bonilla, J.E. & Werchadlo, B. (1999). Teacher and peer roles in scaffolding first graders responses to literature. The Reading Teacher, 52 (6),

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