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How to Teach and Assess Academic Conversation Skills, K–5
In Demystifying Discussion, veteran teacher Jennifer Orr gives elementary school teachers a primer on teaching students to engage in student-led academic conversation. The strategies, sample assessments, and example conversations in this book show you how to help young learners get better at sharing, exploring, and synthesizing their individual and collective thinking. You’ll also learn how to manage different perspectives and disagreements among students.
How do you take the passion and chatter that K–5 students bring to the classroom and turn it into conversation skills that make them better learners? Academic conversation can help hone speaking and listening, critical thinking, and social-emotional skills, as well as deepen content knowledge. But despite its effectiveness, this kind of purposeful, student-led discussion is rarely taught or used at the elementary level. The mystery for teachers is how to support students at various stages of development and build an environment of trust that lets them cultivate these skills.
This is a book to use all year long to improve classroom discussion, hone students’ skills (and your own), and enhance students’ overall learning throughout their time in school and beyond.