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Academic Conversations in High School: Talk the Talk
Transcript of Academic Conversations in High School: Talk the Talk
From day 1, have your students get comfortable talking to each other.
Each of you will be given a note card with a character, object, food item, etc.
When you are instructed to begin, get up and find your match.
Introduce yourself and find out their name.
Ask them the question located on the back of your card.
Once you have both asked and answered your questions, have a seat.
Be ready to introduce your partner and share their answer.
Why are academic conversations important?
Creates a classroom environment where students feel comfortable sharing ideas, asking questions, and taking risks.
Increases the rigor and student engagement in your classroom.
Fosters language development for all students, and especially for English language learners.
Improves listening skills.
by Jeff Zwiers & Marie Crawford
Fosters core skills, including evaluating importance, taking multiple perspectives, interpreting, and persuading.
Key things to use in your classroom:
Question/Answer Frames pg.111
Literary Themes pg. 117
Assessing Conversations pg. 120
Terms for Persuading pg. 134
Academic conversations through writing
Technology's Role in Academic Conversations
Type With Me
Find a partner or small group that teaches something similar to you.
Brainstorm activities you might want to incorporate into your classroom.
Plan one lesson using academic conversations.
Be ready to share with the group.
by Joseph Owens & Ashleigh McWilliams
How do you assess academic conversations?
Formative checks for understanding
Rubric (example on pg. 120)
Think and talk like literature experts
Stay focused and support ideas with text examples
Paraphrasing partner's ideas
Screenshots of online conversations
Shared recordings of video conversations
Imagine in your classroom that you were about to begin a unit. Here is an example activity using academic conversations:
Look at the chart given on your table, it should say Gallery Walk at the very top. You will work in a group with your table, and I will instruct you to move to a photo to begin filling out your chart.
Examining Multiple Perspectives
Back and forth (verbal ping-pong)
Assertion: "Irving ISD should go to a four day school week."
Helps teach multiple viewpoints while keeping students from getting too personal.
Your group is to respond to each question on the chart based on what you see in the photo. One person needs to record the responses of the group.
I will play music as you are discussing your answers. When the music stops playing, move clockwise to the next photo until you have seen all of the photos. You will only have time to keep your conversations academic.
At the last photo, your group needs to answer the questions in the chart plus discuss and fill out the last question at the bottom.
You will then be instructed to take a seat and be expected to present your findings for the last photo you stopped on.
(I wouldn’t tell the students this until the end as they may just not fill out anything until they’ve reached the last photo in the gallery)