Tag Archives: NCTE

Getting Help From the Experts, NCTE 13: Argument Unit Part 5

Personal Photo
Personal Photo
The argument unit is in rough draft, very rough. I need more than the web resources I have found.
Knowing I was attending NCTE 13 in Boston this year, I put the unit away until the conference was over. This proved to be a wise decision.

NCTE is one of the best places to learn from the best on literacy topics and issues. I arranged my schedule so that I could attend several sessions on how to teach argument and it paid off!
The following are my notes. I came away with a new perspective and have rearranged some lessons, added new ones, and revised rest of the unit. I know more and feel that I am making some headway on a challenging topic.

Making Argument Matter: Teaching Argumentative Writing as Academic and Artistic Engagement by Jennifer VanDerHeide, Chris Moore, Andrea Vescelius, and Kim Leddy

  • Transformative Thinking (Moor and Vescelius):
    • Need to front load student thinking with belief systems: logic, Toumlin logic, tensions, audience, and counter-argument
    • Students believe what everyone else believes, It’s logical because its logical, So… this is the formula, right? Just give me the answer, you agree, right? Me, me, me!
    • Need reasoning NOT just reasons.
    • Beliefs about Argument
      • Conservation that enlists mature reasoning
      • Responsive because it is based in belief systems
      • Culturally relevant because it pushes use to think deeper
      • Risky because there are things at stake
      • A process that allows rooms for growth and development
      • Transformative because it has the power to change how we think about ourselves, each other, and the world
      • Not a formula – messy
      • Students think about argument in a vacuum, which leads to inability to apply argumentative strategies in a complex, real world writing
      • Create authentic learning situations that set up real world thinking, create ways to engage student to interact within a society of diverse perspectives
      • Create authentic argumentative situation that open doors to the world outside the classroom.
      • Outthink the other person – say to students to “win” their argument
      • Scaffolding:
        • Rosie/Elizabeth “The View” clip to show what argument isn’t
        • Warranting
          • Slip or Trip, Lunchroom Murder (Hillocks, Chapter 1)
          • Why Shouldn’t I put this Puppy in the Microwave?
          • Mr. Ms. ____ is the best teacher because…
          • Jefferson, “The Declaration of Independent”
  • Evidence and Backing
    • Judgments of Murder (Hillocks Chapter 6)
  • Rhetoric and Counterargument
    • Commercials and Counterargument
    • Staples, Black Men in Space
    • Life Boat Activity- begin discussing assignment in whole group, go to small group to reach consensus (coming to consensus is more important than winning), and then put groups together, complete with debriefing (unpack your thinking) and reflection in next less.
      • Because it’s made up it is safe and play.
      • Your own view is shaped by your personal experiences,
      • Complete with writing assignment.
      • Activity leads to students thinking beyond themselves to a worldly view.
      • The Results
        • By challenging what students believe to be true, we access their internal learning instead of surface learning
        • Instead of using Toumlin as a structure that contains ideas, students deploy Toumlin as a thinking process that accesses their abilities to craft logical arguments
        • Instead of rigidly written essays that are one sided, student explore multiple points of view.
        • Empower all learning by creating space for them to explore their beliefs to discus commonality with others and to use their global voice.
        • Transformative Viewing (Leddy-leddy@edcouncil.org) Mosaic
          • Students spend at least three hours in front of a screen each day – images are important
          • Understand how media affects awareness
          • Use fine art to look deeper into things “stop and smell the art.” Ex. Guernica
          • Visual Proficiency
            • Engagement with images demand critical thinking
            • Cultural relevant – examines our perspectives and the world that shapes them
            • Social relevant – encourages empathy
  • Initial responses to Art can produce many varied ideas.
  • Use Toumlin as a guide to examine art.
  • Creativity is a way of thinking.
  • How to “argue” a painting
    • What do you see? (Evidence) – students write down all of the things that are seen, facts, do for 5 minutes
    • What does it mean? (Claim) – discussion in small groups
    • Why do you say that? (Warrant)
    • Modern Art is good for argument of policy (Worth Every Penny by Barbara Krueger)
    • Argumentative Writing Instruction
      • Teaching students how to think; learning on the boarder of students’ comfort zones
      • Working with “data sets”
      • Learning about the process of argumentation before the terms
      • Teaching about warranting: a variety of belief systems
      • Teaching students to be confident in their own voices
      • Teaching Argument (Smith and Wilhelm) chapter on literature

Beyond Argument’s Sake: Teaching Students How to Deconstruct, Construct, and Deliver Academic Arguments by Courtnei Freeman, Andrea Gollnick, Lori Kixmiller, and Elizabeth Love, http://prezi.com/yg6dsjsvocvk/beyond-arguments-sake-teaching-students-how-to-deconstruct/

  • Shift from persuasion and argument:
    • Create new focus on Vocabulary (Claim, evidence, warrant, and counterargument
    • Speaking and listening activities become equal players in the language arts curriculum
    • Inquiry leads to argument
    • Inverted argument construct: Evidence might drive claim (Hillock)
    • Evidence: Information you gather related to a topic
    • Warrants are the heart of the argument
      • Identifies the “So What?”
      • Explains why/how the evidence leads to the claim.
      • Position on the topic, debatable and defensible
      • Analyzing Claim, Evidence, and Counterargument
        • Important to critically read different forms of media
        • Examine both sides of the issue… Ask students to respond through informal writing: video clips, close reading of two articles – looking for evidence
        • Evaluate the evidence presented on both sides – graphic organizer
        • Debate: Philosophical Chairs
        • Shaping a Position: Coaching students to write an argument using graphic organizers and common structures
          • Examine data (the evidence)
          • Narrow down the claim – use the evidence to create a focused claim – graphic organizer
          • Prewriting: Organize the argument – graphic organizer
          • Scaffolding the paragraph – graphic organizer
          • Speaking and Listening
            • Would Your Rather? Support argument first and then suggest counterargument
            • The Argument Game
            • Triple Speak
            • Impromptu Speeches
            • Tag Team Debate

Using Technology and Project-Based Learning to Improve Classroom Talk and Argumentative Writing by Vanessa Astore, Nasia Smith, and Heather Staats, http://recipes4engagement.weebly.com/

  • Reasons for Revising Argument Unit
    • Lack of engagement with text
    • Reluctant to participate in discussion
    • Lack of evidence for argument
    • Failure to transfer knowledge from text to assignment
    • Selecting emotions over evidence
    • Argument in CCSS
      • Shift in writing from persuasive to argument
      • Previously allowed to use person opinion
      • Drawing on evidence
      • How can we harness conversation to improve argument writing?
      • Feature of informational text
        • Complex
        • Difficult vocab
        • Complicated text structures
        • Unfamiliar content
        • Problems for students
          • Meaning
          • Inferences
          • Central Ideas
          • Relevant evidence
          • Explaining evidence
          • Improbable arguments
          • Illogical rebuttals
          • Leading to limited textual evidence and plagiarized evidence
          • Step one of the Argument Writing Process: Socratic Seminar
            • Purpose allow student to discuss before writing to get ideas from each other
              • Pre-work
              • Inner Outer Circle
              • Observing each other to get feedback
              • Final written response
              • Reflection
  • Benefits
    • Holds students accountable
    • Safe place to voice ideas
    • Brainstorming
    • Learning from each other
    • Using evidence
    • Challenges reasoning
  • May be need for videotaping and reflection of whether the objectives are being met.
  • Use a prewriting Quickwrite to get started and finish with a post writing prompt.
  • Step Two Argument Writing Process: Project-Based Learning, First Attempt
    • Design Decisions:
      • Roles
        • Annotator – while everyone reads together, someone annotate
        • Drafter – composed paragraphs for analysis
        • Blogger – edited the paragraphs and created site.
        • Tech Tools: Blogging platform
  • Recipe for Engagement
    • Collaborative
    • Choice
    • Appropriate Rigor
    • Shared Ownership
  • Goals: Objective Students will be able to analyze complex text for
    • Claims
    • Evidence
    • Persuasive Techniques
    • Reliability and Validity
    • Created blogs that discuss analysis of the text and comment on each other’s blogs.
  • http://hansondavayrahnell.weebly.com/
  • Step Two Argument Writing Process: Project-Based Learning, Second Attempt
    • Design Decisions:
      • Roles – none, worked together
      • Tech Tools: Google Presentation
  • Goals – Students will be able to analyze complex text for reliability and validity and create a multimedia presentation that discusses analyses and reliability of texts. (Limited the goals for project)
  • Tasks:
    • Choose between two text-related historical topics
    • Devise own subtopics/research question
    • Conduct research and collect information
    • Evaluate sources for reliability
    • Design own slides
    • Debrief on all slides – explained why they chose the evidence – explanation of reliability.
    • Present entire presentation to entire group via “jigsaw” (Each person from each group made of a group from an individual from the other groups)
    • Students provide reflections after presentation via Google Forms (credibility of presentation)
  • Classroom Talk as Digital Discussions (Collaborize Classroom)
    • Assigning groups based on ability
    • Students propose topics of discussion
    • Extend classroom discussion
    • Peer Review Assignment
    • Start or extend a Socratic seminar
    • Allow multiple means of responding: vote, true/false, open forum,
    • How Does All of This Translate to Argument Writing?
      • SS helped students get engaged
      • Notes/responses helped generate ideas to connect to text
      • Aided with objective tone and evidence
      • Helped with different perspectives and interpretations of texts
      • Helped clear up misconceptions
      • Brought more meaning to the text
      • Revised Focus
        • Focus on reasoning
        • Emphasis on meaning
        • Small tasks throughout the year
        • Time for faded scaffolding

NCTE10

Listening to Carole Boston Weatherford

Listening to Carole Boston Weatherford

My first NCTE conference took place at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Somewhat dreading the “magical” atmosphere filled with children run amok, I was surprised when Disney worked its magic on me. The conference was a delight. I listened to and met many of my “idols’ in the field of literacy. What follows is my notes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Inquiry Circles: Kids Want to Know – Stephanie Harvey and Anne Gouldvis

  • Despite all of the technological changes, children need to think and be curious.
  • Eric Schmidt (Google) “Teachers will be learning how to ask the right questions. Teach people to be curious.”
  • Teachers need to model what they are curious about
  • Einstein – “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.”
  • Passion and wonder are contagious!
  • “Curiosity Coma” Loman
  • Need to explicitly teach thinking (comprehension).
  • We get in the habit of living before acquiring the habit of thinking.” Camus
  • Learning is the consequence thinking.
  • David Perkins – Smart Schools
  • Comprehension Continuum – Stephanieharvey.com
  • Students need to read metacognitively
  • Facts, Questions, Response form – helps to work out thinking – Interactive reading process
  • Read with a question in mind to synthesize information
  • Turning a heading into a question called the definition question
  • Consequence question – why does it matter? What different does it make? So what…
  • The action question – what can we do about it? How do you think you can help? Can you think of a plan?;
  • The questions a student asks after reading a text are a better assessment than the questions that a student can answer about that text. – P. David Pearson
  • Adopt and adapt our teaching language/instructional moves as their learning language/instructional moves.
  • Sara Holbrook – great poet
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me – Loewen
  • Docs Teach
  • Locate materials, construct focus questions, create mind maps, draw conclusions, explore and compare sources to understand different perspectives, synthesize information across sources, read critically to evaluate information and ideas – who is the author, what is the author’s purpose, perspective, bias
  • Cheyenne Again – Eve Bunting, Irving Toddy
  • Every effort must be made in childhood to teach the young to use their own minds. For one thing is sure, if they don’t make up their own minds, someone will do it for them. Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Writing Circles, Jim Vopat

Keep on Writing in the Real World

  • Endless Mountain Writing Project – part of National Writing Project
  • Authentic writing experiences – interesting, meaningful, useful product, engages, higher level thinking
  • Scribe Notes – a record of what occurred in class on the previous day – a list, a performance, a song, and more, narrative form, students take turn and all participate, post today’s scribe, make a writers chair, give points for doing, “Ransom Note generator” – postcard, letter, ransom note, slide show,
  • Code of Chivalry Project – Make the school chivalrous, discuss the Arthurian Code of Chivalry, Read Sir Gawain and Green Night, Develop a modern code, use modern codes to lead discussion that is bad in school, Gave surveys and disaggregated, made public service announcement after watching PSA already made, premiered project with admin and popcorn,
  • Engagement and Inquiry phase – what issues does the community have? What do we have to say about it? Write a narrative that has an impact like The Lorax, Gathered primary source info by doing interviews, found a documentary on the subject, did collaborative writing, Story maps – Readwritethink, 6 Trait – letting students choose trait to work on

Teaching the Holocaust in Middle School

  • Unit is based on critical literacy. Real content that allows students to deconstruct, interrogate, and be an agent of social change.
  • Help students understand the geography of the time to understand why this is important
  • Refer to Handout for Intro, Prejudice as Oppression, Children of the Holocaust, Resistance, and Action.
  • Bring in picture of loved one and scan, Write about picture that was brought in and share with the class, and then look at archives at USHMM, to find pictures like the one they brought in, and make a comparison,
  • Define prejudice, perpetrator, victim, and bystanders, relating to bullying. So far from the Sea by Eve Bunting
  • Kids – read poetry by the children I Never Thought I’d See Another Butterfly, Create a counter narrative of propaganda – anti-bully for example, Bullet point bio – most important information about person, look at other issues of genocide
  • What did you learn and how are you going to use it in your life now? Answer the question anyway they want as long as it is answered
  • Compare first chapter of Night with the students’ belief system
  • Teachingtheholocaustsocialjustice.wikispaces.com
Pam Munoz Ryan and Lois Lowry

Pam Munoz Ryan and Lois Lowry

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Google Lit Trips

  • Go on the trip with the characters; then students do it themselves
  • Jerome Burg – founder of Google Lit Trips
  • Bring Literature to life, taking students on the same journey with the characters, using technology
  • Engages students in the journey as well as introduce geography concepts, activates background knowledge,
  • Combines digital literacy skill, research, literary study, content skills, reading and writing
  • Need Google Earth 5 – download has flight simulator
  • Go to Google Lit Trips site, download .kmz file
  • Make a folder in Google Earth called Google Lit Trip and drag file there
  • Deselect all layers – click box next to the primary database
  • Check the Terrain and 3D building layers
  • To use with students file must be on all computers
  • Use organizational tools on GLT site
  • Outline expectations such as number of placemarks, pictures, websites, etc
  • Trip enhances not retells the book
  • Email Google to tell them of places not on the software
  • Keepvid.com – save a video to this and then show.
  • Creating paths may be difficult
  • Choose book, plan with a storyboard (image, websites, information)
  • Add new folder to “My Places” in Google Earth
  • Can edit field trips that are already made Right click properties or highlight slide – Get info on Mac
  • Save often or will lose.
  • Can change placemarks

21st Century Literature Circles

  • 21st Century Fluencies – information, solution, creativity, media, collaboration = digital citizens
  • Do three circles three times a year – mini lessons, reading
  • Themes – booklists with various reading levels, brochures, articles of the week – Kelly Gallegher, poem of the week, project ideas
  • Lesson plans – choice, time to read/write, group discussions w/feedback, projects w/21st century skills, norms-essential part
  • Formative assessment: pre- anecdotal notes, surveys, during – article of the week rubric, self-reflection, exit slips, literature circle rubrics, literature circle group assessments, anecdotal notes, Post: literature circle rubrics, literature circle group assessments, literature circle project assessments, summative assessments on indicators
  • Share rubrics before project so students know exactly what is expected. Students choose their project, planning sheets before beginning technology,
  • Google – Education Facebook style websites
  • Told story on Voicethread as the character’s point of view
  • Soundtracks – real world occupations, song categories to support discussion – choose songs that fit main and minor characters, and theme and explanation of why this song fits (written support) and cover art
  • Write a summary of the book, copy and past summary into Wordle.net, create profile for gallery

Jeff Wilhelm and Jim Burke

  • Jeff Wilhelm
  • Little transfer of knowledge taking place.
  • Literary Elements Books have to discuss the “how” and “why” to get to the “what”
  • Think about what expert readers/writers do and then have the students do it.
  • Capitalize on the power of sequencing – where are students (activate background) and build on it.
  • Use inquiry contexts, visual aids, practice with simulated texts, think-alouds, model, mentor, monitor strategic reading
  • Use list that students construct as to ways authors construct characters, setting, etc.
  • Character – What makes a good parent, teacher, or friend, What makes a hero, what is bravery, How to refrain a unit to include inquiry????
  • Setting – How does culture shaper who we are, what do we need to know to live in a certain culture, to what extent to time and place contribute to our understanding of self, To what extent is the American dream accessible to all, refrain a unit based on setting???? Levels of setting, microculture – class, mesoculuture – school community, macroculture politics/culture of the USA, place, time duration as well as the current time, Show pictures of same location in three time periods make inferences at setting, heuristic???? “Whoever’s doing the work is doing the learning.” Literature – you have to create the meaning, Setting is social and psychological – mood Passage, sensory details, Setting is rule setting – use prior experience to figure out the rules. How does setting affects characters, plot and theme
  • Alan Sitomer – What is role of new literaries? How much time to spend on them. Access and keep of with speed of how technology evolves. The Era of the Blend”
  • Move beyond the either/or in the world of technology. Digital reading/writing is going to coexist with traditional reading/writing. Soup of coexistance, teacher will be blenders, Students create compositions that include a spectrum input of technology and ideas
  • Jim Burke – What’s the BigIdea – What does the world expect of me? Look at your resume 25 years in the future. What would happen if they google you name. What would you find in Linked In and Facebook? Interview rotarians, Got interview questions from the net and prepared for an interview, Made a collaborative paragraph.
Watching a Presentation from David Weisner

Watching a Presentation from David Weisner

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carol Jago

  • Imagination the neglected stepchild of American Education – Eisner
  • Make time for questions during instruction
  • Reading literature feeds the minds for imagination
  • 7 1/2 hours spent by teen on media based technology
  • Blissful productivity – sells video games
  • Need to find a way to feel this way from school related activities
  • Find one poem that’s easy, hard, and one that’s just right – and then analyze why its just right for you, present the just right poem for class
  • School is the place where young people come to watch old people work. – Jago
  • Mass exodus from real world to virtual world.
  • Annie Dillard – on reading

Modeling and Mentoring Literate Lives:: Trusting the Reading Workshop

  • The Life Cycle – Mary Lee Hahn, Teacher needs to be a reader, who belongs to a community of readers, flexibility, student-centered, in the moment, structured, mini-lesson, literature circles, focused instruction, MUST – read aloud, assessment-driven instruction, Choice of independent reading, conversation
  • Reflect and refine Blog – Kathy Meers??
  • Possible Phases of RW – Babymouse, Transition, Self-Challenge, Good Choice
  • Reader’s Notebook – Aimee Buckner – think tracks, Use notebook to jot notes, think deeply, talk with peers to articulate thinking, go back and add thinking, “Reading is Thinking” as well as talking, writing about your thinking, and discovering
  • Self-selecting the next book – Donalyn Miller “forever readers” finding time to read, anticipating book emergencies, book selection, reading list can show trends, look for choosing too easy or too hard, (genre, date finished, difficulty)  Reading List – Fountas  and Pinnell, are they comprehending the book? Book commercial – spontaneous time to promote a book they are reading, In the notebook – books to read list, book passes – janet allen (like speed dating) preview stacks of 5/6 of a genre, write plans for reading (reading resolutions) Notecards or reading notebook habits before and now, think about what they have read,
  • Tools of 21st Century – Franki Sibberson – Abbey loves books video, Melbourne Library, Bill Gaskins, Look for Previews and Podcasts for book previews, Tales2Go. Storytime Anytime app, Duck, Duck, Moose app, Cat in the Hat app, Toy Story iPad app, Consume or produce the media forms today = literacy, Reading in Action – bookcast, book trailer, Book Reviews McKillup Elementary School, Many websites that go with book, The Exquisite Corpse, Toon Book Reader, Spaceheadz, The Search for Wondlad, Skeleton Creek, Hallmark recordable books, Scaredy Squirrel on Facebook, The Pigeon on Twitter, Possum Magic on Google Earth, Twitter TV, Skype an author, QR codes, The Global Read Aloud Program, Laura’s Life Blog, Shelfari – social network for readers – can put together private groups, Voicethread as Book Talk, Judi Morellian Skimming gives a false sense of comprehension

Engagement A Critical Component of Helping Struggling Readers and Writers

  • Kylene Beers – Drive by Daniel Pink – Motivation, RSA Animate Drive, (Turn and talk) Autonomy, Mastery – working to continually get better, Self-directed
  • Linda Rief – middle school teacher, have students read their writing to you, Put best piece of writing on a Portfolio Wall, “lead a writerly life” Donald Graves, Write what matters to them, Have students fill in own report cards, 22 Frames animation software, Sam animation,
  • Kylene Beers/Robert Probst (Response and Analysis) important, students may be read on through students, All roads lead to theme. We read to identify theme. Developing nine lessons – Nice Notice and Note Lessons – helps to look for clues that authors leave in the text, generalizing principle/statement.
  • Lesson of the Elder – that moment in YA novels when, an older, wiser person offers a life lesson or advice to the main characters. What was the advice given to the main character. Often is the theme.
  • Lesson of Contrasts and Contradictions – moment in a story when there is a sharp contrast between what you would expect and what you would see. Why did the character act this way? What does it show me about character development?
  • Think-aloud – not effective, filled with text specific information and is difficult for transfer, unless it has a generalizing statement.
  • The Aha Lesson – point in which a character realizes something and things change – What has he learned and what do you think it will mean?