I like that I get to talk about the book and we can start our own questions. I like that because Mr. Springs doesnt give us all the questions. We get to start our own discussions, discussion about the book, just as long as it is on topic and I like that he trusts us to write about it. Olivia, Student Interview
Gavelek & Raphael (1996) write: Social settings are the very means by which students come to acquire and construct new knowledge, new meanings, and new interpretations of text through interactive use of language (p. 184).
Social environments provide opportunities to narrate experiences and understandings and foster intertextual experiences through social construction. This intertextual layering of multiple texts deepens and enriches student comprehension beyond the autonomous models that have dominated research and instruction.
Overview Context of the study Technology as a natural component in the classroom Development of discussions across contexts Role of the teacher Classroom possibilities Questions
Research Questions I focused on examining how students responded to texts both in face-to- face and in on-line relationships asking: In what ways does the teacher facilitate the responses of students? How did the students respond to their reading and to each other in the different environments?
Classroom Design 6 week time period Students self selected their text of choice based on the options provided by the teacher One group of students read Crash (1996) and the other group read Stargirl (2000) both by Jerry Spinelli. Students discussed the texts both in a face-to-face environment and in the online environment in a physical and virtual literature circle environment.
Classroom schedule On-LineFace To Face Reading Time Poster Work 9:00 2134 9:30 1243 10:00 3412 10:30 4321
Poster Work Curriculum and standard oriented to integrate Plot Settings Character
Kist (2005) found that New Literacy classrooms appeared to be less focused on the gadgets and toys and more on the very notion of literacy as a social process. It seemed that the nature of literacy as an inherently social practice was being talked about as much as were the new technologies (p. 5).
Technology is a natural component Language and literacy seen as social practices rather than technical skills (Street, 2003, p. 79) Examples Threaded Discussion board Inspiration maps Web search (Olympics examples) Presenting as a community
Setting the Stage Whole class modeling of the board with his SmartBoard Modeled both the use of the technology and the writing of responses Came back together after three days and utilized examples from the board to illustrate strengths of responses and things that needed to be improved. Held students accountable for using academic writing rather than IM writing.
Looking at students responses in the on- line context
Olivia Why do you think Stargirl left? Tell why. Iris I think that Stargirl left because Leo and all the other kids like Hilary Kimball and all the other kids at Mica high always made fun of Stargirl. For odd reasons like what she wore and other weird reasons. I think she just had enough of every one at mica high just pushed her to her limit. Lea I think she left because she was a Starperson. Archie said that Stargirl was wisely named Stargirl. I think that she really was a star and that she lived in the sky. I think it was time for her to go home. Grace I think that Stargirl left because she felt that she wasn't needed anymore, like what she said to Leo was... "When Peter gets this in a few years he will really appreciate it. It is probably one of my favorite things to do, make people happy. So I sort of think that when she came to Mica Area High School she had a reason to cheer everyone up, just like Peter. That reason was maybe she thought that the school students were too gloomy and they need to be cheered up. Then at the Ocotillo Ball, she had completed her "mission." When *everyone* joined in on the Bunny Hop, that was her signal.
Do you care what other people think about you? If you do, why? If you don't, why? I know that I don't care I mean maybe sometimes but not really. You really should not care what other people think about you because it does not matter. It doesnt matter how people look on the outside it matters what they look like on the inside. I think that you are right midget. It really does not really matter what on the outside it matters what on the inside. Say if you were raggedy clothes but you are an extremely good kid or person. It really wouldnt matter I think. Amen sister! Yes. I do care what people think about me. I have to disagree with you a little bit. I agree that it does not matter what is on the outside but what is on the inside. I really do care what people say about me 'cause sometimes it hurts my feelings. Why do you care it really does not matter. If it hurts your feelings than you should tell them and maybe they will stop Why do you care? You should not care what other people think about you. I mean If people say something that hurts your feelings than you should tell them that it hurt your feelings and then maybe they will apologize and they will stop saying mean things to you. But that is only a maybe.
I do care about what people think about me but I think that nobody should be thinking bad stuff about people because that's rude and you should respect people for who they are. lilbluedude I think that you are right about people should not say bad things about you. Thank you for the advice!!!!!!! I have thought about what people think about me before once. It was last year, in fourth grade, I had to take out the recycle that morning, and it was raining the night before and water got all over my pants. When I got to school almost everybody made fun of me because they thought I peed my pants, and so I felt very embarrassed.
Versus conversations in the face-to-face context that went more like this...
TylerEngagingOkay – to start today I would like to hear what you think are some climactic events. MikelaI think one is when Hillary slapped Stargirl. TylerProbingDo things change after that? MikelaYeah – everything changes TylerProbingHow – how do things change? MikelaShe leaves and she doesnt come back TylerEngagingSo you would consider that a climactic event in the story. Okay – Lea? LeaI think a climactic event is when Stargirl changed into Susan TylerProbingWhy is that? LeaBecause the whole time she has been Stargirl and has been turning into someone else
These examples illustrate that the teacher and students adapted their roles based upon the environment in which they were participating. Comparison of turns at talk StudentsTeacher Face-to-face Environment 55%45% On-line Environment 90%10%
The students ownership of the response process changed based upon the environment in which they were responding.
What does this mean for teachers? Explicit instruction and modeling are critical. The physical environment and constructivist nature of the classroom nurtured the student collaborative conversations. Negotiating the classroom schedule is important to get the right balance of time.
The teacher adjusted his presence as needed in the two groups providing scaffolding in a just in time way. Use of quality literature that the students selected and had ownership over. Use of technology in integrated and authentic ways. Willingness to let the students lead.
Resources for having your own On-line Literature Circles Freebielist http://www.freebielist.com/message boards.htm Nicenet http://www.nicenet.org/ School Blogs Network http://www.schoolblogs.net/wpress/