Managing Academic Conversations (10/29/15)
During this session Assistant Principal Tim Callahan introduced strategies and structures that may help in increasing student academic talk. The "Managing Academic Conversations" slideshow highlights the three conditions to promote effective student talk in classrooms:
- Meaningful Conversation Tasks
- Accountability for Students
- Structure of Talk Opportunity
Participants in the workshop session contrasted the quality of various conversation tasks, discussed student self-assessment templates and rubrics, and reviewed a list of structures from the cooperative learning model.
In this selection of articles, Spencer Kagan makes a case for teaching specific structures for cooperative learning and provides numerous examples that have been proven to work in the classroom.
Building Academic Language (10/29/15)
During the Tiered Vocabulary instruction professional development session on 10/29, we discussed the importance of teaching Mortar words (Tier 2) in all academic and elective courses to enhance overall student comprehension. Our goal is to increase the use of academic "talk" and by doing so, help students expand their academic language library and overall preparedness for college/career. After discussing the importance of teaching Tier 2 vocabulary, we demonstrated ways to engage our students in the classroom using the six steps of building academic language according to Marzano and through the use of challenging academic language games. These games/steps can be found in the resource: Building Academic Vocabulary by Robert Marzano and Debra Pickering.