Speaking and Listening: What Helps Me Do My Work? | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G1:M1:U2:L1

Speaking and Listening: What Helps Me Do My Work?

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • SL.1.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • SL.1.1b: Build on others' talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.
  • SL.1.1c: Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can listen and respond to my classmates' ideas.

Ongoing Assessment

  • During the Opening, listen for what students predict about what they will be learning in this unit.
  • Continue to look for opportunities to support student discussion. Help students locate and use Word Walls and other content-related resources in the room.

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: Mission Letter #3 (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Developing Language: Cup Tower Challenge (20 minutes)

B. Establishing Discussion Norms: Responding to Classmates' Ideas (10 minutes)

C. Structured Discussion: Reflecting on the Cup Tower Challenge (10 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (10 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards: 

  • This lesson introduces the topic of this unit, habits of character, through the continuation of mission letters and challenges.
  • To gain personal experience with the material being covered in this unit, students engage in challenges.
  • In Work Time B, students learn the last behavior for mastery of SL.1.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. Students will practice the discussion norms throughout Unit 2 to prepare them for the speaking and listening assessment in Unit 3.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This is the first lesson in the unit and provides an important conceptual bridge from Unit 1, in which students learned that tools help make work easier. Now, in Unit 2, students focus more on "work" than on the physical tools. Specifically, they learn that "habits of character" also help make work easier and get work done. This lesson helps mark this transition regarding what can be used to help get work done. In Lesson 2, the unit guiding question—"How do habits of character help us do work?"—will be introduced.
  • Throughout Unit 1, students were introduced to Goal 1 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation. Continue using Goal 1 Conversation Cues in this way, considering suggestions within lessons. Refer to the Unit 1, Lesson 3 Teaching Notes and see the Tools page for additional information on Conversation Cues.

Down the road:

  • Students will practice the discussion norm introduced in this lesson throughout the rest of the unit as they discuss their challenges and their readings.
  • In the Closing of this lesson, students learn the vocabulary of "habits of character" and the specific habits of character that they will focus on in subsequent lessons in this module. Students learn three of the four habits of character of effective learners (initiative, collaboration, and perseverance). The fourth habit of character (responsibility) will be added in Unit 3.
  • In the Closing, students reflect on their learning about the habits of character. The teacher reads aloud two definitions. The first definition applies specifically to the work from the challenge and directly relates to the book The Most Magnificent Thing (begun in the next lesson). The second definition represents a broader understanding of the habit of character, and will be useful when applying this habit to new situations throughout the school year. 

In Advance

In advance:

  • Prepare:
    • Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart from Unit 1 by adding "respond to others' ideas by adding on or asking questions" (see supporting materials).
    • A sealed envelope labeled "Mission #3," containing Mission Letter #3 and the Cup Tower Challenge.
    • Set up a document camera to read Mission Letter #3 and to show other documents throughout the lesson (optional). If not using a document camera, copy the mission letter onto chart paper.
    • Determine student groups for Work Time A.

Tech and Multimedia

Consider using an interactive whiteboard or document camera to display lesson materials. 

  • Opening A: Mission Letter #3 could be an email.
  • Work Time A: Cup Tower Challenge Note could be an email.
  • Work Time A: Video record students participating in the challenge to watch with students to evaluate strengths and areas for improvement. Post it on a teacher webpage or on a portfolio app like Seesaw for students to watch at home with families. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • Work Time B: Create the Speaking and Listening Sentence Starters in an online format, for example a Google Doc, to display and for students to access with families at home.
  • Work Time B: Video record the modeled discussion to revisit later if students need to be reminded of the model again. Post it on a teacher webpage or on a portfolio app like Seesaw for students to watch at home with families. Most devices (cell phones,tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • Work Time C: Video or audio record students having a discussion to watch with students to evaluate strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Closing and Assessment A: Create the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart in an online format, for example a Google Doc, to display and for students to access with families at home. 

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 1.I.A.1, 1.I.A.3, and 1.I.B.5

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by explicitly teaching and scaffolding oral language. The discussion is supported by concrete, shared experiences.
  • ELLs may find some of the Challenge Debrief challenging, as it touches on somewhat abstract, metacognitive elements. Draw out these concepts through think-alouds and probing questions. Illustrate abstract concepts with concrete examples. (Example: "What did you do to help your team get the work done? I saw Jeremy volunteer to put the last cup on the tower. What did you do? How did you help?")

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Invite advanced and intermediate proficiency students to model using the Speaking and Listening sentence starters for the class. Provide helpful feedback as students demonstrate.

For heavier support:

  • Engage prior knowledge and examine the intentions and meanings behind the Speaking and Listening sentence starter prompts. (Example: "When I disagree, it means I have a different idea. It is okay to disagree with a friend. It does not mean your friend is wrong, but it means you want to talk about how your ideas are different. This is how we learn more.")

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): This lesson includes many new vocabulary terms, many of which represent abstract concepts (examples: initiative, perseverance, collaboration). As you introduce each new term, using concrete photos or illustrations (examples: photo of child raising hand for initiative) can help clarify tricky vocabulary for students.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): This lesson introduces students to the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart. Inviting students to illustrate each habit of character and posting their illustrations on the anchor chart can help provide students with an alternative way of expressing what they know about these definitions.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): The Cup Tower Challenge in this lesson encourages groups of students to engage in a competition. While this may be motivating, it can also increase students' anxiety or frustration. Proactively prompting students to discuss what to do if their team's tower does not win will help students manage their emotions and support a positive classroom climate. (Examples: "How might you feel if your team does not win?"; "The point of the Cup Tower Challenge is to work together and have fun. This is something we are still learning to do in first grade. If your team doesn't win, it's okay—you might win next time!"; "What might you do or say to congratulate the winning team?")

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

  • challenge, collaboration, initiative, perseverance, progress, respond (L)
  • achieving, magnificent, review progress (T) 

Materials

  • Mission Envelope #3 (one; see Teaching Notes)
    • Mission Letter #3 (one to display)
    • Cup Tower Challenge Note (one to display)
  • Document camera (optional)
  • Challenge cups (any size; four per student)
  • Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart (begun in Unit 1; added to in Work Time B; see supporting materials)
  • Speaking and Listening sentence starters (one to display)
  • Sticky notes (10–15 to use during Work Time C)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials) 

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: Mission Letter #3 (10 minutes) 

  • Gather students together whole group.
  • With excitement, tell them that the class has received another big envelope with the word mission written on it.
  • Slowly open Mission Envelope #3 and take out Mission Letter #3.
  • Using the document camera, display Mission Letter #3.
  • Invite students to listen closely as you read the letter aloud slowly, fluently, with expression, and without interruption.
  • Tell students that they will now go back and reread a few parts of the letter to make sure they really understand it.
  • Stop after the first paragraph and invite students to turn and talk:

“What does it mean that you are making progress?” (We are getting closer; getting work done.)

  • Read the second paragraph and "Today, headquarters has another set of challenges for you" in the third paragraph. Invite students to say the word challenge with you in an excited way. Remind them to listen for clues about their challenge.
  • Read the third paragraph and stop. Say: "It says we will learn about something that helps us do work."
  • Encourage students to use the megaphone response and ask: “What have we already learned about that helps us do work?” (tools)
  • Say:

“It says we will learn about something that makes life easier.”

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What have we already learned about that helps make life easier?” (tools)

  • Encourage students to whisper their answer aloud.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“How do we know that we are NOT going to be learning about tools?” (It says we won’t use our hands.)

  • If students need support, reread and circle the sentence "something that you do not hold."
  • Finish reading the letter.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What other word could we use instead of achieving?” (reaching or getting to a goal)

  • As you introduce Mission Envelope #3, facilitate students' self-regulation skills by modeling socially appropriate ways to express enthusiasm/excitement about this new mission (examples: silent cheer, give yourself a hug, take a deep breath and smile). (MME)
  • As you read Mission Letter #3, offer students alternatives for auditory information by sharing the letter on a document camera or projector. To support student comprehension, emphasize critical features of each paragraph (i.e., the words progress, challenge, and achieving) by highlighting them as you read aloud. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Give a visual preview of the unit. Display pictures of some of the different kinds of missions students will complete, and display the texts students will read. This will pique learners' interest while providing them with context for the work ahead.
  • For ELLs: For some students, the meaning of the phrase "something that you do not hold" might be abstract or confusing. Ask about it to clarify its meaning. Example: "What are some things you can hold? (tools) What are some things you cannot hold?" (ideas, thoughts, attitudes) 

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Developing Language: Cup Tower Challenge (20 minutes) 

  • Feel the mission envelope again and mention to students that you feel something else inside. Invite students to do a drumroll on their laps while you take out the challenge note.
  • With excitement, reveal the Cup Tower Challenge Note.
  • Read the note aloud.
  • Display the challenge cups and restate that the challenge is for each student to place his or her own cups on the group tower in order to make the largest group tower. Warn students that there may be a time when each team loses a cup.
  • Move students into pre-determined groups and provide them with an area in the room to work. Tell them they have 2 minutes to talk about a plan. Circulate and support groups that are not clear on the task or groups that have not begun talking.
  • After 2 minutes, distribute four challenge cups to each student and invite students to begin building.
  • After 5 minutes, walk around and take a cup from the bottom of each team's tower. Circulate to support students who need to process their feelings through conversation.
  • With 2 minutes remaining, give students a time warning. Help them come to a stopping point. Use a meter stick to measure each tower. Use a celebration or a round of applause to congratulate the winning group.
  • Invite each group to shake hands with their teammates before cleaning up the challenge cups. 
  • To help students visualize and plan for the Cup Tower Challenge, display photographs of several types of towers (examples: skyscraper, water tower, Eiffel Tower). (MMR, MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Consider breaking down the Cup Tower Challenge into two parts: cognitive and linguistic. First, invite home language use to allow students to more comfortably process their ideas. This will allow students to first focus on the cognitive demands necessary to complete particularly demanding content, share-outs, or tasks. After they have met the cognitive demands in their home language, they can be invited to discuss the task in classroom English, a language they are still learning. In addition, inviting home language use helps students build academic mindsets.

B. Establishing Discussion Norms: Responding to Classmates’ Ideas (10 minutes) 

  • Gather students back together in the whole group area.
  • Say:  

“Show me with a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down: Was that a fun challenge?” Look for all students to respond with a thumb. If there was a mix of up and down thumbs, say: “I see we will need to talk about this because some people felt differently from others.” If there was not a mix of up and down thumbs, say: “Show me a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down: Did you feel frustrated, mad, or upset during this challenge?” Then explain that they will talk about it.

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning target and read it aloud:
    • “I can listen and respond to my classmates’ ideas.”
  • Ask students to point to a body part that helps them listen. (ear) Now ask students to point to a body part that helps them respond. (mouth, brain)
  • Call on students pointing to their mouth or their brain to share why they pointed there. If no student does so, tell students that responding means to think about what someone has said and talk about it.
  • Focus students' attention on the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is this chart used for?” (These are things to keep in mind when we are working and discussing together.)

  • Share with students that there is another important norm they can practice: respond to others' ideas by adding on or asking questions. Say:

“Raise your hand if you have had a good idea to share with the class.” Point out how many hands are up.

“Raise your hand if you have ever been confused about something someone has said.” Point out how many hands are up.

“Raise your hand if you had the same idea as someone else but maybe wanted to say a little more about it.” Point out how many hands are up.

  • Explain that students have learned how to be great listeners when someone else is talking but that to be a great learner, they need to think about what their teammates are saying. Tell them that when they hear their teammate, they should think about what they are saying and then decide if they agree, disagree, or don't understand.
  • Post the Speaking and Listening sentence starters by or on the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart.
  • Point to and read aloud the sentence starter "I agree with __ because." Tell students they could use this one if they were going to say the same answer as someone else and wanted to add on.
  • Point to and read aloud the sentence starter "I disagree with __ because." Tell students that they could use this one if they were going to say an answer that is totally different from someone else's.
  • Point to and read aloud the sentence starter "I don't understand. What did you mean when you said ___?" Tell students that they could use this last sentence starter when a teammate has said something that they don't understand.
  • Ask a student volunteer to help you model how to use the new discussion norm:

1. Sit or stand face-to-face with the volunteer.

2. Ask the volunteer:

“What tool is the most helpful?”

3. After the student answers, think aloud: "I heard what she said. Do I agree, disagree, or am I confused by her answer? Let me think."

4. Practice using the sentence starters to respond to the volunteer's answer. Say: "I agree with Mary because ...," "I disagree with Mary because ...," or "I don't understand. Mary, what did you mean when you said ...?"

  • Repeat this process as necessary. Tell students they will all start practicing this new norm by talking about the challenge. 
  • Before asking students if it was a fun challenge, help them identify their feelings by displaying a visual feelings chart and say: "Take a look at these facial expressions and find one that matches how you are feeling right now." (MMR)
  • Before you and student volunteers demonstrate using the new discussion norms, prompt students to notice what it looks like and sounds like to "listen and respond." After you have demonstrated, debrief with students. Examples:
    • "What did you notice about the way Lucas and I shared our ideas with each other?"
    • "What did it look like?"
    • "What did it sound like?"
    • "What worked well?"
    • This will foster collaboration and community. (MME)
    • For ELLs: Underline the prefix dis- in the word disagree. Ask: "What do you think dis- means when you see it at the beginning of the word?" (not) "Right, so if dis- means not, what do you think disagree means?" (not agree) 

C. Structured Discussion: Reflecting on the Cup Tower Challenge (10 minutes) 

  • Gather students to sit in a circle or edge spots.
  • Tell them they will get a chance to talk about their challenge with a partner first and then they will share as a class.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“How did your team decide to build your tower?”

  • Circulate to support students in using the discussion norms.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with the same elbow partner:

“What was hard about this challenge?”

  • Circulate to support students in using the discussion norms.
  • Draw students' attention back to the whole group and prepare the sticky notes.
  • Ask students to share whole group:

“What did you do to help your team get the work done?”

  • As students share, capture their ideas on sticky notes that can later be used as examples of the habits of character. (Examples: "I kept going," "I offered a suggestion," "I worked together with my teammates.")
  • If productive, cue students to clarify the conversation by confirming what they mean:

“So, do you mean _____?” (Responses will vary.) 

  • As you prepare students to use the Speaking and Listening sentence starters with their partners, help cue them to the expected language by providing individual copies of sentence starters with embedded images. (MME)
  • After students have shared with their partners, provide options for expression by offering students large sticky notes to draw examples of how they helped their team get the work done. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: This reflection discussion may be difficult for some students. Prepare prewritten sticky notes to prompt thinking. Ask probing questions to prompt students to share. (Examples: "This note says, 'I worked together.' Raise your hand if you worked together with your teammates." "What else did you do? Jin, I saw you give Cynthia a red cup. Were you offering an idea?")

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (10 minutes) 

  • Display the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart.
  • With excitement, explain to students that they all used things that helped get work done and helped make life easier, just as Mission Letter #3 said.
  • Draw students' attention to the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart. Tell students they used habits of character during the challenge and that habits of character aren't held in our hands; they are held in our minds and our hearts.
  • Invite students to repeat each habit of character after you read it aloud.
  • Focus students on the word initiative. Read the top definition and invite students to use their index finger to point to their brain and then point forward. Place any sticky notes from Work Time C (and those created as pictures by students; see Meeting Students' Needs in Work TimeC) onto the chart that show examples of initiative. Call on one or two students to offer any additional examples.
  • Read aloud the bottom definition for initiative, and tell students that the word also means this.
  • Repeat this process of reading the top definition, collecting examples, and reading the second definition with collaboration (motion looks like two fists, thumbs on top, brought together totouch) and perseverance (motion looks like a fist pump into the air).
  • Tell students that tomorrow, they will be able to use one of these habits of character to help them with another challenge. 
  • As you prepare the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, help clarify vocabulary by including photos or illustrations to represent each new term (example: picture of child raising hand for initiation). Post student illustrations from the structured discussion as examples as well. (MMR)
  • After you have read all the habits of character, support students to self-monitor and reflect by asking them to think about how they can help get work done in future first-grade activities. Examples:
    • "What is one habit of character you showed during the Cup Challenge today?"
    • "What is one habit of character you might remember to try next time?" (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Practice pronouncing the word initiative with the class, noting the shape of the mouth and positioning of the tongue. Have students repeat each syllable, noting the stressed vowel: "in-IT-i-at-ive."

Assessment

Each unit in the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum has one standards-based assessment built in. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

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