I read a fascinating paper about ways to increase the use of academic language in the classroom. In the move towards instituting literacy across all subject areas, it may start out simply with teachers modeling how to respond, and then through using think-write-pair-share, having students use sentence frames as a structured way to record their thoughts and to respond to one another in class.
The paper (click here) is entitled "Procedures for Using Sentence Frames to Scaffold the use of Academic Vocabulary and Text Structures."
In making recommendations to teachers as well as to inform my own practice, It will start with finding sentence frames and making them large enough so that they can be referenced in the classroom. Samples of really neat links are on the school website under "The Tools" tab under Sentence Frames. Click here to see it.
Another piece that I wish to encourage in my teachers and in my own instructional practice is to use Philosophical Chairs and Socratic Seminars. In order to encourage those types of structured discussions. Samples of links about discussion starters are on the school website under "The Tools" tab under Discussion Starters and Frames.
Click here to see it.