8th Grade Social Studies

7 Steps to Building a Language Rich Classroom

Content Objective

I will demonstrate how to build academic language in my social studies classroom.

Language Objective

I will speak using the following stems:

  • One strategy I will try in my classroom is...

Step 1: What to say instead of "I DON'T KNOW" p. 11


  • Would you please repeat the question?
  • May I please have some more information?
  • May I ask a friend?
  • May I have some time to think?
  • Where could I find more information?
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Let's Play a Game

  • The teacher will ask a question.
  • If you know the answer, write the answer on your post-it note.
  • The teacher will randomly call on a student to share their answer.
  • If you don't know the answer, choose one of the possible responses on your card.

Step 2: Speak in Complete Sentences p. 17

WHY?

  • Students write the same way that they speak.
  • If we expect them to write in complete sentences, we should also expect them to speak in complete sentences.
  • Provide students with sentence stems and starters.
  • Give them the gift of Academic Language!
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Roving Paragraph

  • One reason women's rights are important is...
  • In addition...
  • Also/Furthermore...
  • Finally...

Step 3: RANDOMIZE AND ROTATE WHEN CALLING ON STUDENTS p. 23

The goal is to have everyone involved in discussions so that we can assess all students' understanding of concepts, not just those students who enjoy participating.

Phrases to avoid:


  • "Who can tell me...?"
  • "Let's see who knows...?"
  • "Does anyone know...?"
  • "Can someone tell the class...?"

Examples of Randomizing and Rotating

Step 4: Total Response Signals p. 29

Response signals are cues students use to indicate that they are ready to respond.

Response signals allow students to prepare for oral or written participation.


Total: All

Response: Every student makes a choice

Signal: Give a response with a signal

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Fold the Line

  • Review each phrase from the Preamble to the Constitution.
  • Select one and create a non-linguistic representation of that phrase on a post-it note.
  • Be prepared to describe your non-linguistic representation with a partner using the following sentence stem:

I drew this picture to represent _________________ because...

Step 5: USE VISUALS AND VOCABULARY STRATEGIES THAT SUPPORT YOUR OBJECTIVES p. 35

  • Photos, drawings, movie clips, graphic organizers, etc…all scaffold student understanding of new content vocabulary.
  • Visuals also provide structured opportunities to use new words in context, increasing retention of new vocabulary and depth of understanding.
Vocabulary Magic (with pictures)

Click here for Vocabulary Magic Activity

Vocabulary Magic (without pictures)

Click here for Vocabulary Magic Activity

Step 6 & 7: HAVE STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN STRUCTURED CONVERSATIONS, READING, and WRITING ACTIVITIES p. 43 & p. 49

•Much more engaging because the process includes 100% student participation.

•Provides enough structure to get all students involved both physically and mentally.

•Maximizes “engagement” time in the classroom and minimizes single-student responses.

•Reading and writing activities should be purpose-driven and strategies selected should scaffold the types of thinking that need to occur for complete understanding.

•Clearly define the purpose, plan and the process for each activity.

•Students gain a deeper understanding of content concepts.

Structured Conversation Resource

Click here for a resource on structured conversation

QSSSA

Benefits of QSSSA

QSSSA is a simple strategy to get students to use new academic language during student-student interactions.

What is QSSSA?

  • Q (Question): The teacher asks a question.
  • S (Signal): The students give the teacher a response (determined by the teacher) when they are ready to answer.
  • S (Stem): The teacher provides a sentence stem to frame structure language.
  • S (Share): Students are asked to share their responses with one or more peers.
  • A (Assess): The teacher assesses the quality of discussion by selecting a few students to share their answers with the whole class.
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    QSSSA Template

    Click here for a QSSSA template

    QSSSA

    Q- How has the Constitution created a "more perfect Union"?

    S- Thinker's Chin

    S- Talk to a Partner

    S- One way the Constitution has created a "more perfect Union" is...

    A- The person with the longest first name

    QSSSA Poster

    Click here for a link to the QSSSA wall poster

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    Seidlitz Segment 4b

    Structured Reading & Writing Resources

    Which strategy was your favorite?

    Click here to be redirected to the Plickers website.

    Exit Ticket Poster

    Click here for a link to the Exit Ticket Poster

    Exit Ticket Printables

    Click here for exit ticket printables for the classroom

    Post-it Plus App

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    One strategy I will try in my classroom is...

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