Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Closer Look At the CCSS for Speaking and Listening

There has been a lot of discussion around the CCSS ELA expectation for text complexity, balance of informational and literary text, writing with evidence and vocabulary in context. Not as much attention has been paid to the Speaking and Listening standards.   Although they are embedded in the ELA standards, these skills really are integrated across all content areas. Speaking and listening has moved beyond standing up and giving a speech, having a visual aide, being able to take notes during class or being an active listener. The shift is toward supporting the ability to work collaboratively, use a variety of media tools to gather and share information and develop the skills necessary to make decisions about the credibility and accuracy of information.  One effective way to formatively assess these standards would be to use a variety of performance tasks within a unit rather than an isolated, stand alone activity. Standard 1 is particularly important as a College and Career Readiness skill. It is worth taking a closer look at the 6 standards as teachers continue their work on remodeling and designing lessons to align to Ohio's New Learning Standards.  I have developed a set of guiding questions that can be used to help incorporate the Speaking and Listening Standards into lesson and assessment planning. They can be adapted to meet the expectation of a particular grade level standard.

Standard 1 The focus is on collaborative grade appropriate conversations and group work with peers, with adults and in a variety of settings.   Can the student keep the conversational ball moving down the field? Can the student be an active participant in grade level appropriate team work? 

  • Does the lesson/activity:
    •  give students the opportunity to have grade level appropriate discussions with peers or adults?
    •  allow students the opportunity to do prior reading or research in preparation for a discussion with peers or adults?
    • expect students to support their ideas/statements with evidence from their reading?
    • allow students to further the discussion/work by asking focused questions, or making appropriate comments?
    • allow students to hear and evaluate the opinions, ideas and/or information shared by others and make decisions about how to move the discussion or work forward?
    • allow students to practice different roles in a collaborative group?
    • allow students to establish group norms or practice group discussion behaviors?
Standard 2 The focus is on acquisition of  knowledge through a variety of visual and auditory media formats. Can the student get information from a variety of both visual and auditory sources? Can the student make decisions about the accuracy and validity of the information?
  • Does the lesson/activity:
    • allow students to gather information from a variety of media sources - including podcasts, video, digital text, live presentations?
    • give students the opportunity to ask clarifying questions and make decisions about the accuracy or relevance of information to the task?
    • allow students the opportunity to identify the purpose for the information and investigate possible motives for a particular presentation. 
Standard 3 The focus is on understanding a speaker's point of view and evaluating the credibility of the speaker.  Can the student be a discerning listener? 
  • Does the lesson/activity:
    • allow students the opportunity to listen to a speaker as a way to gather information?
    • include follow-up activities that would help students to develop the ability to identify point of view, evaluate the quality and validity of the information shared, and analyze the evidence presented by a speaker?
Standard 4 The focus is on the presentation of information and ideas.  Can the student present information, evidence and ideas in a way that makes sense to the audience?
  • Does the lesson/activity:
    • allow the student to plan a presentation for a specific audience and task?
    • allow students to identify and utilize the appropriate information and evidence to support their ideas and opinions?
    • allow the students to outline or map out a presentation in a logical order?
Standard 5 The focus is on the use of multimedia tools and visual displays to support claims, present evidence or clarify information.  Can the student use a variety of multi -media tools to add interest, support and/or detail to a presentation?
  • Does the lesson/activity:
    • allow students to choose from a variety of multi-media tools to present data, information and/or support their ideas?
    • provide students with an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular multi-media tool or visual display following the presentation?
Standard 6 The focus is on using appropriate speaking skills when communicating both formally and informally. Can the student orally express ideas and opinions clearly and adapt to speaking in a variety of situations?
  • Does the lesson/activity:
    • allow students to use formal English in conversations with peers or adults as a way to communicate their ideas or opinions?
    • allow students to make decisions about what level of spoken English - from formal to informal - would be appropriate to discuss a task or share information?


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