Digital Age Teaching and Learning

Patrick Allen: “Building Background Knowledge with Readers”

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Patrick Allen: “Building Background Knowledge with Readers”

Patrick Allen, author of multiple professional development books with Stenhouse Publishers, spoke with Mike McQueen about building background knowledge with readers. Listen to the interview below, especially the 14:22 minute mark when they talk about “How to Develop Listening Skills”.

Patrick Allen’s Background Info

Mike McQueen: Can you tell us about your professional experience as a teacher and author?

Patrick Allen:

  • ____
  • ____

What is Background Knowledge & Why is it Important?

Mike McQueen: Can you give us an overview of what Background knowledge is and why it’s important? – 2:15

Patrick Allen:

  • ____
  • ____

Assessing Student Background Knowledge

Mike McQueen: How do we assess their background knowledge? -4:30

Patrick Allen:

  • Modeling
  • Assessments. – 7:05
  • One-on-One conferences

Building Background Knowledge in Readers

Mike McQueen: How do you build background knowledge? 9:45

Patrick Allen:

  • Modeling vs. Demonstrating – 10:14
  • Metacognition – 11:02
  • Charting / recording student thinking
  • Think Alouds
  • Gradual Release of Responsibility – 11:35

How to Get Students to Collaborate

Mike McQueen: How do you get kids to work with each other (to build background knowledge) if they are shy & disengaged? – 12:35

Patrick Allen:

  • Create situations that put learners on level playing field.
  • Safe situations
  • Tone of our classrooms.
  • Shyness = looking incompetent w/ others.
  • Kids need to feel safe
  • Kids need wait time.

How to Develop Listening Skills – 14:22

Mike McQueen: What are some ways that we can develop listening skills in our students? If we don’t teach kids to be patient & listen to each other, they won’t take risks to move forward in their learning. 

Patrick Allen:

  • Peter Johnson, Choice Words
  • Need for clarification

Advice for Teachers

Mike McQueen – If someone listening hasn’t done these things, what advice would you give them? 16:22

Patrick Allen:

  • If we’re going to ask kids to activate and use their background knowledge, then we must do the same thing. Find that one person who will give you support.
  • He invites teachers to watch him. He visits others. Weekly meetings for 10 years.
  • Read a lot – professionally.

Advice for Parents

Mike’s Question: What advice do you have for parents to build background knowledge for their children? – 18:35

Patrick Allen:

  • ____

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