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Thursday, June 20, 2013

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


Academic Conversations gives you the structures you need to foster quality conversations in language arts, social studies, science, and other subjects. Students will develop critical skills for exploring an important question, idea, or topic. 
 
http://www.stenhouse.com/emags/0884-11/index.html

Stenhouse Publishers writes, "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".
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. - See more at: http://www.stenhouse.com/shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idProduct=9533#sthash.ytsrVh5n.dpuf

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 support  
About the Authors
Marie Crawford is an assistant principal at Central Middle School in the San Carlos School District.  
Read more...    

Jeff Zwiers teaches in the Stanford Teaching Education Program and works for Stanford's Center to Support Excellence in Teaching.  
Read more...

Source: EdWeek Update and Stenhouse Publishers


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