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2 nd Year Project: Accountable Talk & Parent Involvement. Alicia Rodriguez and Emily Danford Hart Elementary School Austin Independent School District Austin, Texas 2007. What is Accountable Talk?.
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Alicia Rodriguez and Emily Danford
Hart Elementary School
Austin Independent School District
Accountable Talk sharpens students' thinking by reinforcing their ability to build and use knowledge.
Even in Kindergarten, students have varying backgrounds and life experiences. If students can learn more about topics at home, they could elaborate and build upon ideas and each others' contributions.
What if we asked parents to use accountable talk to reinforce science lessons by asking questions and sharing their own knowledge at home? Would parents become involved in their students’ learning?
We studied mammals in the classroom. Outside of class, we wanted students to focus on: What are different types of dogs? What body parts to dogs have? How do dogs get the things they need for life?
We created an information letter for the science objective with parents extending learning conversations at home.
Suggestions for parent questions:
What did you learn in science today?
Why do you think it is important to learn about dogs?
What did you find interesting in the lesson?
What else do you think we should look into to learn more about it?
One parent took his child to a neighbor’s house to talk about the dog that lived there. It was a mutt, and the opportunity lent itself to discussing why it is hard to identify breeds sometimes.
Parent responses included:
I enjoyed learning about dogs with my student.
I did not realize how many different types of dogs lived in our neighborhood!
*found in Austin, Texas
The biggest problem this year has been the amount of responsibilities I have as a team leader. The kinder team at our school is the biggest, 8 members. I am beginning to see that the hardest part of being a teacher is dealing with administrative paperwork deadlines.
I am lucky to work with a wonderful administration team and curriculum specialists.