2019 Goals – Speaking & Listening

Another goal for 2019 is to locate and develop resources strategies around our Speaking and Listening standards. This is urgent for three main reasons. First and foremost, we know that speaking and listening are key literacy and life pieces. To produce the citizens of tomorrow, it is imperative that we teach them to be effective speakers and active listeners. In looking at the 2020 Top 10 Job Skills prediction, it would seem that consistent instruction and application of listening and speaking would greatly benefit our students.

Second, our new report card includes a grade area for listening and speaking. So, our teachers are actively seeking support and professional development to help them assess these standards.

Last, our test scores indicate that there is a need for better understanding about the listening standards. While I feel the need to make it clear – summative test scores are a snapshot and absolutely do not solely define the child – I do think they are valuable to use in making programmatic decisions. It would be unfortunate for our students to have low scores simply because we didn’t analyze the situation and identify causal factors.

As a result, a group of coaches and I are planning an optional, introductory PD to these standards. Although the idea of listening and speaking is not new – consider our EL supports and PD over the past several years – we recognize the need give sharper focus to these standards. After a solid brainstorming session today we realize that even two hours doesn’t seem like enough. How do we include information about SBAC, ELPAC, the CCSS, prior ELD strategies that could be brought back, resources that are available, resources that we have created, our new report card, and of course the classroom management challenges that speaking and listening can bring?

We are particularly inspired by three Teaching Channel videos:

  • Listening & Speaking: Formative Assessment – in this video, the teacher uses a checklist during an academic conversation in order to record who is meeting the learning targets of the conversation. Simple, low prep activity with high engagement, that is rooted in the standards.
  • Evidence Based Academic Discussion – this is the “prequel” to the prior video, showing how the teacher set up the conversation so that students came to the circle prepared for discussion. In the “exit ticket” there is space at the bottom for students to reflect after the conversation – a great way to look for evidence of listening (since a look on the face can be deceiving!)
  • Formative Assessment: Collaborative Discussions – we were hooked in this video by the use of the poster to help students organize their thinking during their discussions.

We continue to look for formative assessment ideas around the speaking and listening standards that are easy to use and provide good feedback for next steps in instruction. Any suggestions, please leave them in the comments!

Author:

I'm a K-6 Instructional Coach, supporting school sites in ELA and Math.

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