New Book from Responsive Classroom, The Language of Learning, Provides Practical Strategies for Teaching Students Thinking, Listening, & Speaking Skills

Mar 04, 2014, 11:17 ET from Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.

TURNERS FALLS, Mass., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc. (NEFC), developer of the Responsive Classroom® approach to elementary teaching, has just published The Language of Learning: Teaching Students Core Thinking, Listening, & Speaking Skills by veteran educator Margaret Berry Wilson. The book focuses on proven, practical strategies for teaching children the communication skills critical to high-level learning and success at school. The skills addressed in the book are explicitly named as keys to college and career readiness in the Common Core State Standards at every grade level.

Achieving fluency in the language of learning does not automatically happen for most children. This book gives educators the practical tools and resources needed to move students toward fluency in five core competencies:

  1. Listening Essentials (focusing attention, showing interest, sustaining attention, developing comprehension)
  2. Speaking Essentials (taking turns, speaking confidently, staying on topic, speaking with clarity)
  3. Asking and Answering Questions (distinguishing between a statement and a question, formulating purposeful questions, asking questions respectfully, giving high-quality answers)
  4. Crafting an Argument (speaking in an organized way, distinguishing facts from opinions, presenting evidence, persuading others)
  5. The Art of Agreeing and Disagreeing (agreeing thoughtfully, disagreeing respectfully, agreeing partially, responding to disagreements)

Lynn McKay, Teacher Effectiveness Coach for the Denver Public schools, says "Helping children learn to use purposeful talk in communication is the unifying theme of this valuable resource. It is an excellent resource for moving children into thoughtful, robust discussions."

Carol Ann Tomlinson, Professor at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia says of The Language of Learning, "Here's the guidebook for educators . . . to help students develop and hone those foundational skills that are precursors to accessing virtually all learning opportunities in school—and in life."

Among the features that make The Language of Learning highly practical for teachers:

  • Teaching techniques integrate seamlessly into any existing curriculum as part of daily teaching; no need for separate lessons on listening, speaking, etc.
  • Abundant sample language shows teachers speaking to students and students speaking to one another as they're learning the skills and when they reach mastery.
  • Common Core correlation tables connect each chapter to specific speaking and listening standards.

NEFC executive director Lora Hodges says, "Children have always needed these competencies in order to be highly engaged, self-motivated thinkers, doers, creators, and learners. The content, strategies, and resources presented in this book are just what teachers need to help them teach, coach, and encourage students in developing and demonstrating these competencies."

Bibliographic information
The Language of Learning: Teaching Students Core Thinking, Listening, & Speaking Skills 
Margaret Berry Wilson, with Foreword by Lora M. Hodges, EdD
Grades covered: K–6
Paperback, 216 pages, $24
Copyright 2014, Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-892989-61-1

About Margaret Berry Wilson
Margaret Berry Wilson began presenting Responsive Classroom workshops and coaching educators throughout the country in 2004. She is the author of Teasing, Tattling, Defiance and More and several other books published by Northeast Foundation for Children. Margaret currently serves as an assistant head of school in Riverside, California.

About Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., and the Responsive Classroom® Approach
Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization, is the developer of Responsive Classroom, a research-based approach to elementary education that leads to greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. Responsive Classroom practices help educators develop competencies in three interrelated domains: engaging academics, positive community, and effective management. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has recognized the Responsive Classroom approach as one of a select group of "well-designed, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs with potential for broad dissemination to schools across the United States."

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SOURCE Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc.