After reading this week’s articles, I was able to relate a lot of Langer’s different types of classroom talk to my placement classroom. Right now I’m placed at Midway Elementary School in a fourth grade classroom and this semester I’ve been given the responsibility and role of leading one of the five literature circle groups. My lit circle group is composed of five students all reading and writing at higher than average levels compared to their peers, and I was able to make several connections between the Langer article and what I’ve seen/heard so far within my lit group. One type of classroom talk that is discussed in the article is what Langer refers to as envisionment. This type of talk gages whether or not the reader fully understands the text and as the literature circle leader, it’s my responsible that the students are analyzing and decoding the text not just reading to read. Final envisionment is what the students get at the end of the reading and some ways to make sure they are gaining a deep understanding is asking them to infer and ask questions along the way. This past Monday when I met with my lit circle, I first read them the title and summary of the story which gave them a basic understanding of the text. We then took turns reading a page of the story and I explained confusing or advanced words to them as we read. After the story was finished, I asked them if they liked it and why or why not. I then gave them the task to re-read the story with a partner and to mark an “I” for inference, “?” for question, “S” for sympathy for a character(s), and “NS” for no sympathy. This journal entry helps the students build envisionment and by discussing their writing with their peers, it allows their envisionment to change overtime. By taking on the role of lit circle leader, I’m scaffolding the students and guiding response-centered talks. The learning resources available to the students that help promote these rich discussions, are the literature circle books that contain a variety of challenging short stories and their reading journals where they’re given the opportunity to reflect and relate to these stories.
Another type of classroom talk that Langer discusses in the article is the different “stances” that students can take. The first stance is Being Out and Stepping In which is the initial contact students have with the text using their prior knowledge and analyzing surface features. My lit group students are at this stage before we start reading the story and briefing go over the author, title, summary, and key terms. The next stance is Being In and Moving Through which is when students begin reading the story while using text and background knowledge to develop a deeper meaning and students reach this stage while they’re reading the story for the first time. The third stance is Being In and Stepping Out which is when students use what they’ve read to reflect on their own lives and students reach this type of talk when they’re reading the story for the second time either with a partner or individually. Finally, the last stance is Stepping Out and Objectifying the Experiences which is when you objectify, judge, and relate the text to experiences of yourself and others. My lit group students are at this stage when we meet together a week later after reading the story to go over what they’ve written in their writing journals. By sharing their thoughts, ideas, questions, etc. with the group, they are able to learn and build off of each other.