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Choice Words

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Audrey Allen

on 2 October 2012

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Transcript of Choice Words

Choice Words How our Language Affects
Children’s Learning Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 4 Chapter 7 The Language of
Influence in Teaching Noticing and Naming Identity Agency and
Becoming Strategic Flexibility and Transfer
(or Generalizing) Knowing An Evolutionary, Democratic
Learning Community “Language is the essential condition of knowing, the process by which experience becomes knowledge.”
Halliday, 1993 Noticing and naming are a central part of becoming a communicating human being, but it is also crucial to becoming capable in particular activities.

Teachers are required to know how to tell when learning is going well and when it is not.

As teachers we socialize children’s attention to the significant features of literacy.

The children themselves should share in this responsibility. Examples of Teacher Talk
“ Did anyone notice or try…”
interesting words?
any words that are alike?
any new punctuation?
creating a new character?
a new kind of reading or writing?

To notice~ to become aware of ~ the possible things to observe about the literate world, oneself, and others can open up conversations among students who are noticing different things. Examples of Teacher Talk:
“I see that you know how to…

*The most important piece is that you are confirming what has been successful.

*Noticing FIRST the part that is correct, or makes sense, is a perceptual bias we need to extend to our students. Examples of Teacher Talk:

Remember when… Now you do it automatically.”
* Example: How have you changed as a reader? Writer? Community member?
The advantage of drawing attention to change in learning and behavior is that children can then project learning futures. Examples of Teacher Talk:
What kind of (text) is this?”
** Encouraging students to…
Naming and noticing go hand in hand, the naming making it possible to have focused discussions with less confusion. Examples of Teacher Talk:

“You know what I heard you just doing right now? …”

**Draws to the consciousness of the student and attention of the class, a productive cognitive strategy that would otherwise have slipped by unnoticed.
**Points out that what the student did was a sensible thing to do.

** Opens up a central conversation for critical literacy. Examples of Teacher Talk:

“ I want you to tell me how it went… What went well…What kinds of questions were raised”
** Draws the student’s attention to the process of group discussion
** Draws attention to the productive aspects of the process
** Draws attention that there are different kinds of questions Examples of Teacher Talk:

“ Write down a line that you wish you had written.”
** This turns a students attention to the qualities of words.
** This gives students confidence to write such words.
** Compares student writing to mentor texts. Examples of Teacher Talk:

“ What are you noticing? Are there any other things that surprise you?”
**Children becoming literate need to learn the significant features of text, how it is organized, how it relates to spoken language, how to recognize the tricks authors use to compel readers, and so forth.
** When children notice things, instruction can begin with a joint focus of attention because the children are already attending. In Conclusion...
Through our noticing and naming language, children learn the significant features of the world, themselves, and others.
These understandings influence how they treat each other and their environment Building an identity means coming to see in ourselves the characteristics of particular categories (and roles) of people and developing a sense of what it feels like to be that sort of person and belong in certain social spaces. As children are involved in classroom interactions, they will build and try different identities. This is observed when they use the pronoun, “I” in storylines in which they write about themselves. Teachers’ comments can offer them, and nudge them toward productive identities. “What a talented young poet you are.”
This type of response addresses children’s developing identities and includes invites students to imagine themselves in that identity. This kind of conversation requires students to develop an understanding of what a poet, scientist, author, etc. does. The students will also need to develop an understanding of these ways of talking and acting in the classroom. Just assigning the identity label will not accomplish all of this. Learning science, writing, math and so forth in this manner breaks the division between school and the real world, and will empower student learning. "That's not like you."

The teacher suggests that the observed problematic behavior is atypical and that the overall pattern suggests a more admirable person. It allows the child to think about who he wants to be . The stronger the relationship between the teacher and student, the more powerful and productive this prompt will be. “I wonder if, as a writer, you’re ready for this.”

This asks the child to think about their learning in terms of development or maturity and opens the door for consideration of possibly being viewed as more mature. It leans heavily on the student to view herself as an author and to accept the challenge. In the context of the teacher’s words, the student will find it difficult not to accept the challenge. "I bet you're proud of yourself."

This is the most productive after a “how” question that’s established “agency.” A child who accesses the feelings of pride builds upon the sense of agency and also attaches an internal motivation for the activity. This building of independence doesn’t detract from the feeling that the teacher is proud of the child. Alternatively, asking a student “How does that make you feel?” turns the attention to their internal feelings about behavior and events. "What are you doing as a writer today?"

This frames what the students will be doing as writers and opens up conversation on those terms instead of doing a task for the teacher. It also assumes that the student a) is a writer and b)that they will be doing something that writers do. This makes it hard for the student to reject the identity or the action. "What have you learned most recently as a reader?"

Like previous conversation starters, it is assumed that the child is a reader and readers learn things. For students to be able to respond, they must review recent learning. The next question may be, “What would you like to learn next as a reader?” This will take the learning history to the next level. The control of the learning will then belong to the student. Many of these identity learning conversational prompts essentially insist that children respond in ways that position them as cative agents in their learning. Chapter 8 Who Do You Think
You’re Talking To?
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