What is the role of talk?
This book is really helping me understand rigor in new ways. I feel like I haven't really understood what the words means until now. I have fostered monologic talk in my classroom for years. How sad. Dialogic talk will be a huge focus for me this upcoming year.
Monologic talk- authoritative and presumes that the goal of the listener is to agree with or learn from the speaker (pg. 28)
Dialogic talk- expect that the speaker becomes listener and the listener become speaker, that through give-and-take new ideas might emerge, one might change one's mind when the other is convincing, and the other might reshape an opinion when the first is persuasive. (pg. 28)
I love their tips for improving student discourse. I want to implement these next year.
- Listen to the conversations- I do this whenever my kids are in cooperative groups, but I haven't really focused on what they are saying. Sadly, I was mainly focusing on if they were on topic, not fighting, and working together.
- Step back and let students pose questions- Um, duh. I am not good at this. It takes a lot of modeling and time to get students to do this, but it is time well spent. I hate that I feel like a lazy teacher because I have opted out of doing this so much. Teacher fail.
- Give various students prompts that can keep the conversation going- I love that. Don't ask them questions-- give them prompts. I am good at questioning. I mean, I ask a lot of questions, I am not sure they are all up to a high standard. I have been working on asking higher order questions the past few years and I am making progress. But I have to say, that I love looking at this like I can be a prompter instead of stepping in and asking the questions I wish the kids were posing to each other.
- Record small-group conversations- Once again, DUH! We have iPads. If would be so easy to do this. Then they could post their videos on Edmodo for the class to watch later. It would be a great way to keep everyone accountable and on task. It will also give us examples to watch on how to have conversations with each other.
- Encourage students to elaborate- Man, this is a hard one. I loved my class this last year, but when I asked them to explain what they just said, I got the deer in the headlights look. They automatically assumed their answer was wrong, got tongue-tied, or had no clue how to rephrase or elaborate to help me understand. I wasn't successful in guiding them through elaboration. I need to make that a priority.
- Ask high level questions of all students- This is something I do! Yay! I am glad there is something on this list that I can say I am doing.
- Encourage students to use the vocabulary of the discipline- The more I used words, the more I hear the students using them as well. If I can discipline myself to use content specific words, I know that will carry over to my students.
- Arrange desks so that students see one another's faces instead of backs of heads- Another thing I can proudly say I do! My kids stayed in groups all year. There were 2 groups of 5 and 2 groups of 4 (mostly, depending on move-outs & move-ins). I love having kids in groups.
What is close reading?
That is a good question. One I didn't know that answer to before reading this section. Texas isn't a Common Core state, so we haven't had a big push for "Close Reading" in and of itself.
Definition from pg. 36-37
Close reading should suggest close attention to the text; close attention to the relevant experience, though, and memory of the reader; close attention to the responses and interpretations of other readers; and close attention to the interactions among those elements. To focus exclusively on any one of them to the neglect of the others is simply foolish. Likewise, to suggest this is how we read every passage of every text is unreasonable. What we want is to notice those elements of the text that are, for example, surprising or confusing or contradictory, so that then we pause and take note, think carefully, reread, analyze--read closely.
As a teacher in Texas, I teach these kinds of skills to my students. I am very excited to learn more about how these authors suggest we teach these strategies. My students struggle to read with meaning and I know I have a lot to learn.
What did you think of these sections?