Oracy: Let’s Not Ignore Oral Language Development/Instruction in the Classroom

From the Reading Sage

http://reading-sage.blogspot.com/2017/02/developing-oracy-with-daily-dialogue.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ReadingSageReviews+%28Reading+Sage+Reviews%29

Just a few of many links on oracy from the Reading Sage posting

Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk | Edutopia Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk | Edutopia
Teaching oracy means putting more intention behind how you guide and organize your students’ talk. When they gather for group work or …

Oracy: The Literacy of the Spoken Word | Edutopia
Teaching oracy is instrumental to better reading and, in particular, writing. In developmental terms, humans acquire oral language first — a …

Oracy Assessment Toolkit : Faculty of Education
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the need to help young people develop their abilities to use spoken language effectively. Employers …
Teaching oracy means putting more intention behind how you guide and organize your students’ talk. When they gather for group work or …

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Words….the smallest unit of communication.

One of my favorite resources on Literacy is The TextProject.  Here is a recent post on word/vocabulary learning.  Putting words in context build background knowledge and gives kids something to talk about.

The Text Project and Resources on Words (Vocabulary Learning)

http://www.textproject.org/classroom-materials/students/stories-of-words/

We are pleased to offer you our newest product, Stories of Words.

Stories of Words aims to develop students’ interest in interesting words (e.g., snickerdoodles, terrapin, scuba). The texts in Stories of Words use the TExT model—the same model that underlies all TextProject products (e.g., FYI for Kids) and commercial products (e.g., QuickReads). That means that reading the texts also increases students’ exposure to the core vocabulary. Each book of the 12-volume series explores the vocabulary of a different topic such as food, movies, and acronyms.

Each topic falls into one of four methods of how words have been added to the English Language.

  1. Languages from other parts of the world.
  2. Themes that play a big part of our lives.
  3. Words that we’ve manipulated or reused to suit different needs.
  4. New words to describe new inventions or technological advances.

 

Here is one example from the Word “Flight.”

http://www.textproject.org/assets/products/stories-of-words/Stories-of-Words-2016-Flight.pdf

The Power of Words – Building Vocabulary Age 3 to Grade 3

Deep Listening. Especially Important for Learning

Deep Listening

Posted to Dialogue on Oct 20 16

Bookmark

http://www.edutopia.org/discussion/deep-listening-activities-academic-discussions

Amy Heusterberg-Richards , ELA Teacher – High School

Posted 10/01/2016 9:01PM | Last Commented 10/07/2016 8:41PM

Deep Listening Activities for Academic Discussions

A short excerpt:

“Deep listening is a technique beautifully rooted in American traditions like the Quaker faith and various Native tribes. At its core, deep listening entails listening over hearing and connecting over responding. In relationships, deep listening means acknowledging others’ emotions so they feel heard. In careers, deep listening means developing productive, honest communication by listening to understand, not merely to reply. In my classroom, deep listening can mean students better know each other’s ideas and therefore better know our studies.  It can mean a more inclusive atmosphere where all voices feel respected and where moments of silence are welcome….”

 

Dialogue is important, process is important, and so is content!

From Knowledge Matters, a short except

http://tntp.org/room-to-run/knowledge-matters

“In Chris Hayes’ second-grade classroom at Westergard Elementary School in Reno, Nevada, this is how her students will finish off their unit on the Civil War—synthesizing their knowledge, forming opinions based on evidence, and writing and talking about it.”

“Here’s the assignment this group of second graders will tackle: “A hero is a person who is admired for courage and achievements that help others. Using evidence found in the following documents, your knowledge of our readings, and at least four of the vocabulary words above, rank all of these people in order from least heroic to most heroic. Then, write about your top three most heroic choices. Make sure to use details to support your reasoning for why these people are heroic.”

……..

“We hear kids this age having complex conversations with each other, and our reaction is that it’s cute. But it isn’t cute. It’s what we should expect them to do,” Mrs. Hayes says. “The kids are engaged. They think learning is fun. But I don’t teach this way because it’s fun. That makes it too simple. What we’re doing for them is very important.”

“It’s important not just because these second graders are building critical content knowledge that helps them become stronger readers, writers, listeners, and speakers (and that will be built upon in higher grades). It’s also important because in asking her students to do so much active thinking and engaging on these topics, Chris Hayes is laying the foundation for her students to persevere through more challenging work in the years to come. She is building students who own their learning.”

 

Listening and Learning

Reading Sage on Think Alouds

From the blog of  The Dyslexic Reading Teacher Sean Taylor,  a teacher whose work I highly respect and value!

 http://reading-sage.blogspot.com/2016/07/effective-think-aloud-think-aloud.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ReadingSageReviews+%28Reading+Sage+Reviews%29

 Rethinking Ability Groups and Differentiation!

   ” Teachers are trained to use reading assessment data to differentiate and ability group students based on reading comprehension scores, yet many teachers never ability group based on the students listening levels. Many teachers never test the students listening comprehension ability. Why? Basing reading instruction and lessons on grade level reading scores alone is a mistake, student’s grade level listening comprehension levels are a clue to your students’ potential ability….”

 My Experience with Low Reading Scores and High Listening Comprehension!

       “Special educations students like me, that could barely decode at a first grade level in 5th grade, yet I could have easily understood literary concepts many years higher than my grade level. I never had a chance to test my ability and tackle complex literary concepts because I was always in a special education ability grouped reading class (differentiated) my whole public school career!  My education choices were accommodated, modified and differentiated to the point of being mute….”

 

Zwiers and Crawford: Chapter 3 on Lesson Activities for Developing Core Conversation Skills

Quote from 5th Grade Language Arts Student: “The book was only so-so, but our conversations about it were awesome.”

As a reminder from the last post: the five core conversational skills were:

Elaborate and clarify

Support ideas with examples

Build on and/or challenge a partner’s idea

Paraphrase

Synthesize conversation points

The introduction to this chapter cautions that these are not separate skills taught in isolation.  Rather they are to be integrated into the content being taught, as well as being integrated with the other skills.

As noted earlier, this text offers lots of good suggestions for HOW to teach these skills.  First an example of a technique for Synthesizing Conversation Points.

Parking/Promoting/Pruning Ideas.  Students start by “writing down ideas (or parking them) for later use.  Then they Promote ideas they may be reluctant to share after you give examples of ideas that originally seen as “crazy” – airplanes, cell phones, moon shots…  And then student “prune” the ideas—both their own and others—by being conscious of which ideas further the conversation and which ideas do not. (p. 55)

The authors also suggest mini lessons on conversations that allow to students to practice:

Analyzing good conversations via a fishbowl technique.

Student modeling of good conversational skills, perhaps using posters or checklists.

Scaffolding by modeling think-alouds, conversations with students and analysis of written conversations.

 

 

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