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Teaching about and through Purposeful Talk (K–5)

What does it mean to think and talk with purpose? And, what becomes possible when classrooms are alive with talk? This session explores purposeful talk as a dynamic, constructive process, within single texts and across multiple sources, and offers strategies for engaging children productively.

Thinking and talking well about that thinking is the ultimate expression of understanding. Purposeful talk isn’t just chit-chat or telling; rather it’s a very deliberately crafted experience that supports children to co-construct understandings. It is taught as intentionally as any other work that occurs in the classroom.

By definition, guided reading is “reading, thinking, and talking about texts” with the support of the teacher. Unless teachers understand a progression of talk behaviors and the facilitation that is necessary, the small or whole group times may not deliver on their potential as instructional strategies. Every lesson with any Okapi materials should be an opportunity for strong dialogic experiences.

Materials that may be emphasized:
Flying Start to Literacy, WorldWise, Explorations, Lift Off to Literacy, Perspectives

Professional Development Menu

3 Full-Day Sessions
1.5-3-Hour Session Descriptions
Instructional Strategies
Read Aloud / Shared Reading
Guided Reading
Reading Instruction
Writing Instruction
Assessment
Purposeful Talk
Intervention
Classroom Management
Spanish/Biliteracy