For Starters... Have you ever thought about how you talk to your kids in class? Write down an example of one positive experience and one negative experience you had interacting with a student.
Choice Words: What we say, and how we say it, matters
Objective for this class We look forward to giving you a new perspective toward student interactions, and new tools to help you shape productive conversations in your classrooms.
Author Background... Born in New Zealand University of Albany Editorial Board of several publications Research Interests include: consequences of teaching decisions for kids’ literacy acquisition learning communities engagement
What the Research Says... • Teachers tend to use different language with successful students versus those who are struggling (Allington, 1980) • If a student can figure something out for him or herself, explicitly providing the information preempts the student’s opportunity to build a sense of agency and independence, which in turn affects the relationship between the teacher and student (Johnston, 2004)
Group Activity Compare your results from the starter with the teachers around you. Create an anchor chart of things you hear yourself say in class.
Day 1: Academics Objective: Helping students gain academic success through positive reinforcement and new ways of thinking
Table 1.1: Implications of Different Teacher Responses on Social Transgressions
Scenario #1 You have a large class, and you notice several students are struggling with an assignment. How can you help them re-engage?
Classroom as a Community “The social relationships within which they learn are a part of their learning. Children just like adults, learn better in a supportive environment in which they can risk trying new strategies and concepts and stretching themselves intellectually.” (p.65)
Classroom as a Community What are you thinking? Stop and talk to your neighbor. You managed to figure that out without each other’s help - how did you do that? I noticed that when ___ was talking it jogged your mind. What are you thinking? How do you know when a conversation is finished?
Scenario #2 When working on a project, we tend to tell students what to do, verses giving them a role. How can we as teachers help them feel a sense of identity in the classroom?
How you can change the way you think • Notice and Name • Help kids see themselves in a role - reader, writer, scientist, historian, mathematician • Through these skills children learn to be more aware of the world, themselves, and others
How you can change the way you think • Frame the lesson with questions like “What are you doing as a writer/reader/historian etc. today? • Ask critical questions of the student either out-loud or in a journal format. Ex. What have you learned most as a ________________ recently? • Create a sense of agency. Make students feel responsible for how they talk about lessons in the classroom, and how they respond to one another.
Important Quotes “If nothing else, children should leave school with a sense that if they act, and act strategically, they can accomplish their goals.” (29) “As teachers, then, we try to maximize children’s feeling of agency. There are really three parts to this: the belief that the environment can be affected, the belief that one has what it takes to affect it, and understanding that is what literacy is about.” (39) “Developing in children a sense of agency is not an educational fill or some mushy-headed liberal idea. Children who doubt their competence set low goals and choose easy tasks, and they plan poorly.” (40)
Article Break Take the next 10 minutes to read and annotate the article “Talking in Class: Remembering What is Important About Classroom Talk” Writing Prompt: What are some ways you can see yourself engaging students in purposeful talk both as a whole class, and one on one?
Share your responses Talk with the group about ways you see this type of interaction working in your classroom. Do you feel it would make a positive impact? Why?
How can we apply this to classes? As an educator, how will you go about implementing a change in your interaction with students academically?
How can we apply this to classes? • Which parts are you sure that you want to try? • What are you still skeptical about?
A Look Ahead... Homework: Try one new thing in your classroom Thursday when talking with students. Note to yourself if you get a different response than normal. Be ready to share with the group on Monday.
Day 2: Behavior Objective: We will look at how we talk to students and how we can help curb problems before they start by talking to them a different way
Speech is Action • Our words carry power. • Speaking is as much an action as hitting someone with a stick, or hugging them (Austin 1962)
Scenario #1 • You have a student that struggles to turn in homework on a regular basis. Today she turned in her homework, but she was only successful completing half of her assignment. • How do you respond to this action?
Shaping Student Identity • Identity-The distinguishing character or personality of an individual. • Certain student identities can lead us to expect how students will likely to behave.
Shaping Student Identity cont. • Do students identities shape the way we communicate with them? • Can we as educators shape students’ identities therefore shaping students’ behavior?
Let Positive beat the Negative • Focus on the positive versus negative • “Walk” versus “Stop Running”
Feedback How can we assist you in implementing Choice Words in your classroom?