Science SOS: Teaching the Language of Science in Elementary Classrooms 2014 WIDA Conference – Thursday, October 23rd – Dae Selcer & Rachel Durkee Introduction of Presenters: Dae Selcer - Taught grades 1, 2, and 4-12 - Has worked in Cambodia, Viet Nam, and Minneapolis - Loves otters Introduction of Presenters: Rachel Durkee - Has taught grades K and 5 - Originally from North Dakota, but currently lives and works in Minneapolis. - Does not like potatoes. Why are we here? What drew you to this session today? Objectives – Teachers Will be Able To (TWBAT) TWBAT critique current Language of Science instruction in their own programs by applying knowledge of best practices in Elementary Science. TWBAT define what accountable talk is and why it may be useful in teaching Language of Science. TWBAT identify and practice best practices for using accountable talk in the classroom by taking part in sample lessons/activities. Part 1: Science in the Elementary Classroom Guiding Question: What does current research and experience tell us about what is and is not effective K-4 science instruction? Objective: TWBAT critique current Language of Science instruction in their own programs by applying knowledge of best practices in Elementary Science. Background: Science in Elementary Classrooms Iris Weiss et al. (2003) studied 360 lessons in math and science at the K-12 level. The study found that high-quality science lessons: Are intellectually rigorous Make ample use of teacher questioning Are standards based Are interactive and engaging for learners Out of those 360 lessons, 15% were “high quality” lessons. 59% of the lessons were of “low quality.” What else do successful elementary science lessons do? Successful science lessons at all levels find out what students know through formative assessment (Keeley 2008). Successful science lessons are “community centered.” Sharing ideas – not just right answers – are valued. The community supports risk-taking (Bransford et al, 1999). What about for ELLs? The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol Model (SIOP Model) provides content teachers with guidelines for teaching ELLs in all subject domains, including science. Content and language objectives clearly defined, displayed, and reviewed with students High degree of use of supplementary materials Differentiation for student levels Address all four modalities (Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing) of language Meaningful activities that build on students’ background knowledge and integrate language practice (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short 2008) This is all pretty maddeningly vague. Let’s get more specific! Elementary Science SOS: Sample School Context Eleanor S. Leaf is excited to begin teaching push-in science for grades 1 and 3 in School B. She consults with the classroom teacher and learns that the school has mandated that all lessons be based on a prebought, prestigious curriculum. Ms. ESL receives a copy of the student book and teacher’s guide and excitedly sits down to read the first unit. During Reading: As you see what Ms. ESL found, jot down your thoughts on how the materials do (or do not) meet Weiss’ criteria for “high quality” science lessons (below) - Intellectually rigorous - Make ample use of teacher questioning - Are standards based - Are interactive and engaging for learners - Address all 4 modalities (SIOP) Ms. ESL in action… Turn and Talk (5 minutes) Turn and talk to someone next to you about what you saw. Consider these guiding questions: What were some difficulties that Ms. ESL might encounter in trying to create high-quality science lessons out of this unit? What tasks are students expected to do in this unit? What beliefs do these expectations show us about how student learning is conceptualized? What supports are available to students to complete the tasks required of them? What could be better? Our Opinions High-Quality Lesson Criteria Representation in Curriculum? Intellectually rigorous Students are essentially passive – they match (vocab to pictures), identify (numbers of living things) and select (answers to test questions). Make ample use of teacher questioning Students are told information – they do not apply it (the experiment in this chapter is related to how sea monkeys grow and is unrelated). Standards based The lessons here are compliant with 1st grade MN standards Interactive and engaging for learners Though photo quality is high, interaction is low Use all four modalities Speaking is totally neglected. Not enough scaffolding for writing. Reflection (3 minutes) Take a few minutes to think about your experiences with elementary science in your own context. How do the materials (or lack thereof) compare to those shown here? Do the materials used at your school meet Weiss’ criteria for highquality science lessons? In what areas? Part 2: Moving Towards a Solution in Accountable Talk Guiding Question: How can we create high-quality Language of Science instruction that is rigorous, yet still meets our students where they are at? Objective: TWBAT define what accountable talk is and why it is useful in teaching Language of Science. What is accountable talk? Accountable Talk has been most discussed in Middle School settings (Goldenberg 1993, Resnick 2007, Elizabeth et al 2012). Following Resnick, Irvin et al (2007) argue that accountable talk is accountable on three levels Classroom-wide acceptance of norms of conversation (ie, all can make valuable contributions) Students recognize their responsibility to speak accurately about what they are learning Students use higher level thinking to formulate arguments and clarify ideas ….more concretely? Middle School version often a little too advanced for Elementary school. I agree with you, _______ because ______. However, accountable talk is often used in the form of sentence stems. Any kind of protocol for student interaction that improves S to S language can be accountable talk. I disagree because _____. Why should we pay attention to accountable talk in science? Last year, an entering 1st grade ESL class had an average Kindergarten writing score of 1.8, and an overall score of 1.6. Using accountable talk-focused writing instruction in science as the primary mode of ESL instruction, the class grew an average of 1 level – making the average writing score 2.8. The average growth in their composite score was 1.5 levels (up to 3.1). Part 3: Getting Practical. What do we do, exactly? Guiding Questions: What exactly does accountable talk look like in Language of Science lessons at the elementary level? Objective: TWBAT identify and practice best practices for using accountable talk in the classroom by taking part in sample lessons/activities. Moving Beyond Sentence Stems - Sentence stems are not enough. Consider the following: Why do you think that we should eat cake, Fenan? Use the sentence stem: “I think ____ because ____.” “I think eat cake because good.” Specific language needs to be used and blanks chosen carefully so students can practice targeted forms. Creating Accountable Talk Plans in Four Steps Step 1: Stick to your specific language objective. What language do you need? Step2: Build an Accountable Talk Word Wall (3 Tiers) and use Student-Owned Bubbles Step 3: Create Extended Dialogue Step 4: Have Students Self- and Peer-Monitor for Accountability Step 1: Stick to Your Language Objective We will skip this step in the interest of time – however, feel free to ask questions during work time! Also, see Academic Language for Achievement in the Collaborative (PushIn)Classroom, Friday at 1:15. Step 2: Accountable Talk Walls Tie language to specific functions, and always clearly define blanks. What do I want to do? (Function) What words do I need (vocabulary) What do I say or write (Accountable Talk) I want to ask about something. Help Assist Could you ____ me with (topic)? I want to suggest something. Might I think (person) ______ (action) because (why). Could Should Must I want to add something. Agree Disagree Concur Do not concur I _____ with you (name), because (why). I want to explain my idea Because + Person + Thinking Word + Subject + Idea about Subject I agree with you, Ms. ESL, because I think candy is delicious. As students gain more proficiency, fine distinctions can be made and content can get specific What do I want to do? (Function) What words do I need? (Vocabulary) What do I say or write? (Accountable Talk) I want to explain my idea Because + Person + Thinking Word + Subject + Idea about Subject I agree with you, Ms. ESL, because I think candy is delicious. I want to show why thing A made thing B happen. Because of As a result of Due to _________ (action A), (action B) occurred. I want to form a hypothesis, and I need help with actions. Present verb Comma (,) Will + present verb. If (topic) (present verb) (first event), then (second event) (will + present verb). I want to form a hypothesis, and I need help with the order. If + first event Then + second event ______ the bread stays on the shelf for 10 days, _____ mold will form. Sample Accountable Talk Wall Elements Step 2: Ownable Accountable Talk “Bubbles” Accountable Talk works best when students “own” the most frequently used sentence stems and can choose when to use them (within parameters of class discussion). Students keep bubbles in folders and have access to them when needed. Students then “own” the conversation and can monitor their own use of language. Use pictures to remind students of what bubbles go with what ideas. Go from general to specific See sample being passed around. Step 2: Sample Accountable Talk Cards – General (kept in “ESL” folder) What did you observe? Can you add to that? Can you build on that? What made you think that? Step 2: Sample Accountable Talk Cards – Specific (Kept in Science Folder) As (first event/person) is/are (action +ing), (second event/person) is/are (action +ing). As the butterfly’s wings are drying, the butterfly is resting in the sun. I observed that (subject + past action). What did you observe, (name?) I observed that the ship sank. What did you observe, Sameera? See sample going around the room. Step Three: Accountable Talk Rings – Use for Repeated Tasks Used to create entire conversations or extended writing – ex: using scientific method. 1. (Question from board) 2. My hypothesis is that if (event 1) (action), then (event 2) (action). What is your hypothesis,? 3. Let’s make an experiment. Can you help me set it up? 4. I observed that (action + past). What did you observe, ____? (x3) 5. Where should we record your observation that (action + past)? We should record it ____. 6. I conclude that my hypothesis was (correct/incorrect) because (experiment part) (action). What was your conclusion? See sample being passed around! Step Four: The Buddy Sign-Off and Self Evaluation Students can become accountable for what others have written/said through the buddy sign-off. With explicit instruction, students can evaluate themselves honestly and be accountable for improving their performance. See samples going around the room! Your Turn: Using Accountable Talk Ms. ESL has decided to try and use some accountable talk strategies in her first unit with her 1st graders. She knows the content objective her colleague is using: SWBAT be able to explain the difference between living and non-living things. The only problem is that the students don’t actually do much explaining in the content lesson. Use your handout to plan some accountable talk strategies that Ms. ESL can use in her unit. We will be coming around to answer questions. Contact Us Dae Selcer – [email protected] Rachel Durkee – [email protected] Works Cited Works Cited Alexander, R. (2010). Speaking but not listening? Accountable talk in an unaccountable context. Literacy. 44(3), pp. 103-111. Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (1999). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Echevarria, J., Vogt, M. & Short, D. (2008). Making content comprehensible for English learners: The SIOP Model. Boston: Pearson. Keeley, P. (2008). Science formative assessment. Thousand Oaks: Corwin. Goldenberg, C. (1993). Instructional conversations: Promoting comprehension through instruction. The Reading Teacher. 64(4). pp. 316-326. Holwell, P.B., Thomas, S., & Ardasheva, Y. (2011). Talk in the classroom: Meeting the developmental, academic, and cultural needs of middle school students. Middle Grades Research Journal. 6(1), pp. 47-63. Irvin, J.L, Buhel, D.R. & Radcliffe, B. J. (2007). Strategies to enhance literacy and learning in the Middle School content area classrooms. Boston: Pearson. Martin, R., Sexton, C., Franklin, T. & Gerlovich, J. (2005).Teaching Science for all children: An inquiry based approach. Boston: Pearson. Michales, S., O’Connor, C., & Resnick, L. B. (2008). Deliberative discourse idealized and realized: Accountable talk in the classroom and in civic life. Studies in Philosophy of Education. 27, pp. 283-297. Richardson, A. E. (2010). Exploring text through student discussions: accountable talk in the Middle School classroom. The English Journal. 100 (1). pp 83-88. Weiss, I.R., Pasley, J.D., Smith, P.S., Banilower, E.R., & Hecht, D.J. (2003). Looking inside the classroom: A study of K-12 mathematics and science education in the United States. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Horizon Research.