Thinking about our thinking

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This is the institute I will be presenting at the TNTESOL conference later this week.


  • 1. Thinking About our Thinking Strategies That Make A Difference Keith Pruitt, Ed.S Words of Wisdom Educational Consulting
  • 2. Brain Gym Im going to ask a question. The first hand I see go up to answer correctly, wins. What was the first capital of ..Tennessee? Correct answer: Knoxville
  • 3. If Teaching Children Were Like This
  • 4. --Christopher Morley When you sell a man a book you don't sell him just 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life.
  • 5. No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.
  • 6. The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. - Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"
  • 7. Why is it important that students think critically about text? Turn and Talk
  • 8. Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting. - Edmund Burke So How Do We Get Students To Think About Their Thinking?
  • 9. Strategy 1 Picture Talk
  • 10. Fundamental Concepts 1. One has to accept the idea that literacy involves having conversations about text. (Donald Graves) Float the learning on a sea of talk. --James Britton Who does most of the talking in your classroom? Whoever it is, theyre also doing most of the learning.
  • 11. Lets Look At an Example
  • 12. Fundamental Concepts 1. One has to accept the idea that literacy is about having conversations about text. (Donald Graves) 2. Regardless of the level of language, acquisition takes place in listening to talk and in viewing pictures.
  • 13. 1. Start with a story 2. Then show the picture 3. What do you think happened to this horse? Turn to your partner and tell them what happened? 4. Ask a couple of children to share out what they think happened. 5. Let students know that they just created their own story. 6. On a large sticky note, craft a bit of a story while the children add details.
  • 14. In using this method, you have used the element of: 1. Auditory experience with language 2. Visual representation 3. Imagination and creative abilities 4. Listening and Speaking skills 5. Vocabulary development 6. Elements of story 7. Transference to writing This is what CCSS is about!
  • 15. Strategy 2 Getting Into Character
  • 16. While it is important that students hear language, it is even more valuable that they engage with that language. Plays Readers Theatre Enactments Living Museums Dramatic Reads These can be done in conjunction with metacognitive instruction.
  • 17. Abraham Lincoln Comes Home What I Know About Lincoln What I Learned Questions? 1. He was President Which one? 2. 16th What else? 3. President during Civil War 4. From Illinois 5. Had a beard 6. Assassinated By whom? Dont know John Wilkes Booth He was an actor and southern sympathizer 7. Buried in Springfield, Il. 1. 16th President of United States 2. President During Civil War 3. Assassinated by Booth who was a Southern Sympathizer 1. How Did he come to be President? 2. Why did Booth Kill the President? 3. Where did this happen? Concept from Harvey and Goudvis, Comprehension Toolkit
  • 18. Now instead of reading this story to you, Im going to step into character and tell you the story of Luke OBrien.
  • 19. Strategy 3 Changing Our Questions
  • 20. Players and fans were keeping cool with soft drinks and ice cream on the hottest day of July and the first day of the Little League tournament. Brett, an outfielder, was watching the game from the bench. Crack! Fans erupted in a chorus of cheers. Cheers for someone other than me, came a small voice from beside Brett. Brett was surprised to see that the speaker was Omar, one of the younger boys on the team. The few times Omar had spoken at all, his words usually consisted of yes, no, coach, or some combination of the three. What time of year is it? What is a tournament? What prepositional phrase helps me understand the word erupted? From Journeys, Grade 4, page %12,T13 Sideline Support
  • 21. Excuse me? said Brett, still not positive the words had come from Omar. Ive had it. Frustration was obvious from the peculiar strain in Omars voice. Just being here now puts me in a bad mood. I show up to every practice. I do whatever Coach asks. And where am I during the games? On the bench! Why is that? Does Coach think the other players try harder or have more talent than I have? Are they simply more advanced than I am? Dont be silly! laughed Brett. I played less than you during my first year, and I didnt even know how to hold a bat properly! And you know what? I had a blast. Its just a matter of looking at the situation differently. My Dad would call it an attitude tune-up. Why does Brett tell Omar about having an attitude tune-up? Turn to your elbow partner. 1 minute
  • 22. Old Structure versus Common Core Here is the conversation of Comprehension as traditionally taught Here is the Conversation of Comprehension based on Common Core Who were the main characters in Charlottes Web? Where did they live? When animals are given human characteristics it is called _______________. Can you think of a time when animals influenced how you felt about something? What descriptions are used by the author to indicate that Wilbur is growing lonelier at the Zuckerman farm? What is the main point of the friendship of Charlotte and Wilbur? How does the author let us know that Fern has grown disinterested in Wilbur?
  • 23. Strategy 4 Forming Comparisons
  • 24. 1. Read through lenses. What characters/people: say/do/think Relationships Setting descriptions Time Period Etc. 2. Use Lenses to find patterns. What details fit together? How do they fit together? 3. Use the patterns to develop a new understanding of the text. Looking at a specific aspect of characters, themes, etc. p. 12, Falling In Love With Close Reading
  • 25. How to Know When Students Are Reading Closely 1. They refer often to the text when discussing their ideas 2. They double-check and revise their ideas by looking back at the evidence in the text --p. 13, Falling in Love with Close Reading
  • 26. An Example How does Jessie Oliver Aarons character change during the story?