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

ISBN-13: 978-1571108845 ISBN-10: 157110884X

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Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings + Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners + Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers (September 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157110884X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571108845
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff is a senior researcher in the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. He co-directs the Academic Language Development Network (aldnetwork.org), a research and professional development project focused on academic language and literacy development across disciplines, grade levels, and standards. He has consulted for international education development projects that promote bilingual education, curriculum development, formative assessment, and engaged learning. He has published articles and books on reading, thinking, and academic language.

Customer Reviews

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See all 13 customer reviews
It really gets you thinking.
Deborah D.
This book talks about conversing in the classroom for all subject areas.
Sandra Forsythe
I recommend this book to every teacher grade four and up.
anonymous

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's a paradox, but English teachers almost completely ignore the teaching of speaking skills because they figure kids converse just fine -- a little TOO well, in fact. Mea culpa, because I'm as guilty as the next guy. Luckily, this book opened my eyes to the possibilities of a skill-based approach to teaching academic conversation.

Part of me says I'm too busy for this, what with all the demands of teaching reading, writing, vocabulary, and even public speaking, but Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford have convinced me that I cannot ignore this any longer. What's more, they proved that academic conversations will greatly improve student writing. The icing on the cake? Students will actually ENJOY the activities in this book. Think of it this way: students' love for conversing is a like a raging river. And academic conversation activities are like a hydroelectric plant built to convert that untapped energy into enduring light. The book's organization is systematic and logical. The chapter headings give you an idea of the steps:

Ch. 1 -- Reasons to Converse in School
Ch. 2 -- Getting Started with Academic Conversations
Ch. 3 -- Lesson Activities for Developing Core Conversation Skills
Ch. 4 -- Designing Effective Conversation Tasks
Ch. 5 -- Training Students for Advanced Conversations
Ch. 6 -- Developing Academic Grammar and Vocabulary Through Conversation
Ch. 7 -- Conversations in Language Arts
Ch. 8 -- Conversations in History
Ch. 9 -- Conversations in Science
Ch. 10 -- Academic Conversation Assessment
Ch. 11 -- Reminders

Although ACADEMIC CONVERSATIONS covers many types of large and small group discussions done in class, it focuses mainly on paired conversation.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lolli on January 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book made understanding about communication skills for students easy. The questions and responses will help students develop two way conversations unlike one way response prompts. The clarification on the various types of communication skills were excellent (questioning, piggybacking, clarifying, summarizing). I am excited about sharing the information with teachers I work with.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on August 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best book on this topic I have ever come across. My head swirled with possibilities the moment I started reading it. I have spent many days pondering how to implement all the conversational topics. I recommend this book to every teacher grade four and up. Of the people I have recommended it to and that bought it, they have also been completely amazed by this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bookworm on March 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I buy lots of books about how to improve instruction in reading and writing, and I am so often disappointed. The books always seem to be written by people who have never spent much time in a real classroom and whose ideas seem more applicable to small children than grown up college students, the audience for which I write. But this book is a wonderful exception and I find much of what they say about framing conversations can be integrated into instruction for reading and writing.

I particularly like the way they define terms many others use in a vague and general way. They don't even let a word like "evidence," often thrown around but seldom defined, go unexplained and they define it as a "Broad term used for any information that logically supports a hypothesis or perspective." They also offer very good and, again, very specific suggestions for in class exercises, like "quotation negotiation," where the instructor posts a theme or opinion and then distributes different quotations to the class. Students then decide which ones support the stated theme or opinion and which ones don't. LOTS of great ideas here, with equally concrete examples for practice. A must have if you are interested in teaching students to read, write, think, and oh yes, converse in a way that will help them in school or, for that matter, at work. Kudos to the authors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Forsythe on January 6, 2013
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This book talks about conversing in the classroom for all subject areas. As this is to be required by the common core and something which students need to learn the art of doing, I think this book addresses this problem in an intelligent manner. Students spend hours talking to their friends with handheld devices when they should be communicating directly, A must for all secondary teachers!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nancy S. Blair on November 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The power of conversation to enhance learning is enormous. Academic Conversations offers practical strategies to promote deeper conversations about content information among students while strengthening their thinking and reasoning skills. This book is an amazing resource for any educator.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Ware on February 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I borrowed this from a colleague, but I wasn't done when he wanted it back! As an instructional coach, there is something in here for everyone that I work with.
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