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Jeff Zwiers is a senior researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. He has taught in diverse elementary and secondary schools, worked as an instructional coach in urban school settings, and trained teachers to facilitate effective professional learning teams. He has participated in international education development efforts that promoted bilingual education, critical thinking, formative assessment, and engaged learning. His current research and professional development work consist of collaborating with teachers to learn what works best in real classrooms to help students learn through rich interactions and conversations. And his spare time, he writes books and articles on literacy, thinking, communication, conversation, language development, and bilingual curriculum materials for oral language development in rural schools in Guatemala.
Dr. Jeff Zwiers, an educational researcher at Stanford University, has spent the last 15 years analyzing classroom conversations to see how they can be better used and improved in classroom settings. Teachers who have worked with him report significant growth in students’ engagement, content learning, language, creativity, and sense of agency.
Zweirs introduced his initial vision for classroom conversations in Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understanding. His follow-up book, Next Steps with Academic Conversations: New Ideas for Improving Learning Through Classroom Talk, expands the first book with updated classroom strategies and practices. In this new version, teachers will discover:
How to introduce buildable ideas and teach students how to develop and support them
Equitable classroom discussions and how diverse backgrounds conversing can benefit social skills and emotional intelligence
Highlights of new research-based theories on classroom conversation
Ways to develop students' confidence in conversation and how classroom skills can apply to real world interactions
This resource is the product of his extensive research, co-teaching, and collaborating with a wide range of educators. It was written for busy teachers who want a practical guide for strengthening the quality and quantity of productive conversations in their lessons.
Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford:::100141
Conversing with others has given insights to different perspectives, helped build ideas, and solve problems. Academic conversations push students to think and learn in lasting ways. Academic conversations are back-and-forth dialogues in which students focus on a topic and explore it by building, challenging, and negotiating relevant ideas. In Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings authors Jeff Zwiers and Marie Crawford address the challenges teachers face when trying to bring thoughtful, respectful, and focused conversations into the classroom. They identify five core communications skills needed to help students hold productive academic conversation across content areas:
Elaborating and Clarifying
Supporting Ideas with Evidence
Building On and/or Challenging Ideas
This book shows teachers how to weave the cultivation of academic conversation skills and conversations into current teaching approaches. More specifically, it describes how to use conversations to build the following:
Academic vocabulary and grammar
Critical thinking skills such as persuasion, interpretation, consideration of multiple perspectives, evaluation, and application
Literacy skills such as questioning, predicting, connecting to prior knowledge, and summarizing
An academic classroom environment brimming with respect for others' ideas, equity of voice, engagement, and mutual support
The ideas in this book stem from many hours of classroom practice, research, and video analysis across grade levels and content areas. Readers will find numerous practical activities for working on each conversation skill, crafting conversation-worthy tasks, and using conversations to teach and assess. Academic Conversations offers an in-depth approach to helping students develop into the future parents, teachers, and leaders who will collaborate to build a better world.
Jeff Zwiers, Susan O'Hara, and Robert Pritchard:::100141
Common Core Standards in Diverse Classrooms
The Common Core State Standards require students to do more with knowledge and language than ever before. Rather than be mere consumers of knowledge, students must now become creators, critics, and communicators of ideas across disciplines. Yet in order to take on these new and exciting roles, many students need daily teaching with an extra emphasis on accelerating their academic communication skills.
Common Core Standards in Diverse Classrooms: Essential Practices for Developing Academic Language and Disciplinary Literacy describes seven research-based teaching practices for developing complex language and literacy skills across grade levels and disciplines: using complex texts, fortifying complex output, fostering academic interaction, clarifying complex language, modeling, guiding, and designing instruction. Most important, you will find clear descriptions and examples of how these essential practices can—and should—be woven together in real lessons. The book:
Clarifies how to support the learning of complex language that students need for reaching Common Core and other standards
Provides practical ways to realize the instructional shifts needed with the implementation of new standards in diverse classrooms
Includes frameworks and descriptions on how to develop students' complex language, speaking, and writing
Helps maximize strategies and tools for building system-wide capacity for sustained growth in the practices
Common Core Standards in Diverse Classrooms is a concise guide for helping us improve our practices to strengthen two vital pillars that support student learning: academic language and disciplinary literacy.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion