Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings

By | February 7, 2018
Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings Author Jeff Zwiers
ISBN-10 157110884X
ISBN-13 9781571108845
Year 2011-11-04
Pages 240
Language English
Publisher Stenhouse Publishers
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Where would we be without conversation Throughout history conversations have allowed us to see different perspectives build ideas and solve problems Conversations particularly those referred to in this book as academic conversations push students to think and learn in lasting ways Academic conversations are back and forth dialogues in which students focus on a topic and explore it by building challenging and negotiating relevant ideas Unfortunately academic conversations are rare in many classrooms Talk is often dominated by the teacher and a few students or it does not advance beyond short responses to the teacher s questions Even certain teaching approaches and curriculum programs neglect to train students how to maintain a focused respectful and thoughtful conversation To address these challenges authors Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford have identified five core communication skills to help students hold productive academic conversations across content areas These skills include elaborating and clarifying supporting ideas with evidence building on and or challenging ideas paraphrasing and synthesizing This book shows teachers how to weave the cultivation of academic conversation skills and conversations into current teaching approaches More specifically it describes how to use conversations to build the following Academic vocabulary and grammar Critical thinking skills such as persuasion interpretation consideration of multiple perspectives evaluation and application Literacy skills such as questioning predicting connecting to prior knowledge and summarizing Complex and abstract essential understandings in content areas such as adaptation human nature bias conservation of mass energy gravity irony democracy greed and more An academic classroom environment brimming with respect for others ideas equity of voice engagement and mutual supportThe ideas in this book stem from many hours of classroom practice research and video analysis across grade levels and content areas Readers will find numerous practical activities for working on each conversation skill crafting conversation worthy tasks and using conversations to teach and assess Academic Conversations offers an in depth approach to helping students develop into the future parents teachers and leaders who will collaborate to build a better world

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