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Choice Words

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Sarah Weber

on 26 September 2014

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Transcript of Choice Words

Choice Words
Chapter 1: The Language of Influence in Teaching
Language is valuable and interesting: It’s valuable enough to play with but powerful enough to change behavior without force.

“Children grow into the intellectual life around them.”- Vygotsky

Children teach us about the language of our classrooms

The teacher has to make something of what children say or do, much like a mother and her baby.

Language has “content” but also bears information about the relationship between the speaker and the listener.

We often assume children already know things. The teacher needs to know when to be explicit. It requires the knowledge of the audience. A responsive teacher should have that knowledge (what to be explicit about, which students to be explicit to, and when to be explicit).
Chapter 2: Noticing and Naming
-"Did anyone notice..?"
-"I see you know how to spell the beginning of that word."
-"Remember the first week when we had to really work at walking quietly? Now you guys do it automatically."
-"What kind of text is this?"
-"You know what I heard you doing just now, Claude? Putting yourself in her place. You may not have realized it. You said, 'Will she ever shut up?' Which is what Zinny is thinking."
-"I want you to tell me how it [group discussion] went... What went well?...What kinds of questions [were raised]?"
-"Write down a line you wish you had written."
-"What are you noticing?...Any other patterns or things that surprise you?"
Chapter 4: Agency and Becoming Strategic
-"How did you figure that out?"
-"What problems did you come across today?"
-"How are you planning to go about this?"
-"Where are you going with this piece [of writing]?"
-"Which part are you sure about and which part are you not sure about?"
-"You really have me interested in this character [in your writing] because of the things he says, and if you show me how he says them and what he looks like, I will get an even stronger sense of him."
-"That's like Kevin's story. He started off telling us his character is a lonely boy to get us caring about the main character. You [looking at Kevin] made a conscious choice."
-"Why would an author do something like that?"
Chapter 3: Identity
-"What a talented young poet you are."
-"That's not like you."
-"I wonder if, as a writer, you're ready for this."
-"I bet you're proud of yourself."
-"What are you doing as a writer today?"
-"What have you learned most recently as a reader?"
by Peter H. Johnston
Dr. Tinker-Sachs
Kenzie Childs, Hye Cho, Laura Hilton, Sarah Weber

Chapter 5: Felxibility and Transfer (or Generalizing)
Chapter 6: Knowing
Chapter 7: An Evolutionary, Democratic Learning Community
Chapter 8: Who Do You Think You're Talking To?
-"One of the things people do when they start a story is think of what they know.
-"Mathematicians do this too... Let's try it."
-"How else..."
-"That's like..."
-"What if..."
-"Let's see if I've got this right."
-"Any questions? Let's start with these." (Teacher writes them on a chart)
-"Thanks for straightening me out."
-"That's a very interesting way of looking at it. I hadn't thought about it that way. I'll have to think about it some more."
-"How did you know?"
-"How could we check?"
-"Would you agree with that?"
-"Is that an observation or conjecture?"
-"Never believe everything I say. Never believe everything
adult says."
-"Who else would like that book?"
-"How do you think she feels about that?"
-"Any compliments?"
-"You guys say such important things, it amazes me you would talk while others are talking."
-"I wonder..."
-"Are there any other ways to think about that? Any other opinions?"
-"What are you thinking? Stop and talk to your neighbor about it."
-"You managed to figure that out with each other's help. How did you do that?"
-"I notice, Laurel, that when he was talking it sort of jogged your mind- what were you thinking?"
-"You know, Sheila, that just gave me a memory. Thank you. I'll just write it down." (Students wait while she writes)
-"How do you know when a conversation is finished?"
-"This is how you go about making a large decision with a lot of parts. You take it in parts. Discussion is now open on how to decide which ones."
Knowing: the type of talk which recognizes that students have ideas, and that these ideas are worth listening to

Common pattern of interaction between teachers and students is known as IRE- teacher Interacts, students Respond, and teacher Evaluates
This sequence is very controlling for the following reasons:
The underlying premise is that the teacher already knows what needs to be known and therefore takes the role of judging the quality of the student’s response.
IRE might better have been called QRE as the initiation is almost always a question. Questions exert even more control by not only insisting a response, but also controlling the topic of conversation.

Knowledge is compose of facts possessed by teachers, who have the authority to transmit it to children, and children know about the world only through the knowledge that is transmitted to them.
There are alternatives to this in which students play a more active role in the ownership and construction of knowledge. Roles can vary widely, such as leading a shared inquiry, playing around with an idea together, or closely following other people’s lines of thought.
This supports the premise that students are experienced thinkers who have something to say that is worth listening to

Agency- to have a sense that if students act, and act strategically, that can accomplish their goals

To understand children's development of a sense of agency, the students need to look at the kinds of stories we arrange for children to tell themselves.

The language around agency should push students to reflect on how they have been successful and plans to continue that way.

Guiding the students to think about the questions asked. “why?” Open ended questions help students to mold their ideas.

Students should be pushed to think about problems they faced and how they can tackle problems in the future.

The students who are in regular education are not being challenged enough to make them think critically. Only “gifted” students are asked to think critically and challenge themselves.

Generalizing: to apply understanding from one problem or situation to another (p. 43)

Some children keep home and school spaces rigidly separate, believing they are unrelated.

Problems of transfer: the failure to generalize learning from one situation or problem to another.

Example: math class, perspectives of story characters

It seems that the less compartmentalized teachers make student’s problem-solving to other situations, the more flexible students were able to apply strategies to solve a given problem.

How can this be accomplished in the classroom? By helping students entertain different identities.
*Study on math students- HS students vs shopkeepers
*How this applies to the classroom- why children who learn words for their spelling tests commonly don’t transfer this learning to their writing.

Identity- the students are trying to figure out who they are and what they are good at.

By praising the student, the student now begins to explore with the things they were praised at and begins noticing other things that he/she might believe they are good at.

Importance of the relationship between student and teacher on language.

Regarding language behavior, relationship is a factor in how everything a teacher says is heard.
The relationship between teacher and students decide what type of learner they will be. (Identifying who they are).

Speaking to students and labeling them as readers, writers, researchers, thinkers, however we want them see themselves does make a difference.
Children learn better in supportive, challenging environments where they can test out new strategies and concepts

Students need to experience learning communities that sustain productive and critical learning and where individuals are valued and supported; "...we need to understand how to construct or become involved in learning communities so that we extend our own development" (p. 65)

One community property: students have some shared understanding of the situation and activity in which they are jointly engaged

Once we notice something, it’s hard to not notice it after; it influences our perceptual systems.

Help students see what kinds of things might be noticed and to name the things they do notice. This can open new conversations among students who notice the same things.

It’s very important to confirm what has been successful so it can be repeated. Asserting the learners competence gives the learner confidence to continue.

The more we rely on standards and expectations, the harder it is to focus on what is going well.

Draw attention to the student’s change in learning and behavior so that they can project learning futures.

Draw attention to the consciousness of the student and the attention of the class. It offers the chance to claim competency and agency. It also opens the possibility of discussion. Basically opens central conversation for critical literacy.

Group discussions are critical for managing and arranging productive learning zones. It also helps build productive learning community.

Pointing out a quote in text and expressing interest in it opens discussion for analysis and shows the teacher’s emotional response.

Literate children should know significant features in text, how it’s organized, how it relates to spoken language, how to recognize tricks authors use to compel readers, etc.

We teach them ways to notices, but first the student must notice them- we can’t show them every pattern.

When children notice and point out, teaching becomes easier. The teacher is no longer the source of knowledge.

Through noticing and naming, children learn significant features of the world, themselves, and others.​
Teachers need to interact genuinely, automatically, and consistently

"Who do you think you're talking to?"- who they think we are conflicts with who we think we are

Be conscious of the ways we unwittingly use language to position and provide students with means to maim themselves

Get children to understand that they have something to say, that engaging with others is in their own developmental interests

The more we understand each other as extensions of ourselves, and difference as potential for our own development, the more critically literate we will be and the less likely we are to kill one another

If we want to change our words, we need to change our views

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