The “communication effect” is what happens when we saturate our classrooms with authentic communication, which occurs when students use language to build up ideas and do meaningful things. For starters, authentic communication deepens and increases language development, learning of content concepts and skills, rigor and engagement, empathy and understanding of others’ perspectives, agency and ownership of core ideas across disciplines, and social and emotional skills for building strong relationships. And these are just the starters.
With The Communication Effect, Dr. Jeff Zwiers challenges teachers in Grades 3 and up to focus less on breadth and more on depth by grounding instruction and assessment in authentic (rather than pseudo-) communication. This book provides:
- Ideas for cultivating classroom cultures in which authentic communication thrives
- Clear descriptions and examples of the three features of authentic communication: 1. building up key ideas (claims and concepts); 2. clarifying terms and supporting ideas; and 3. creating and filling information gaps
- Over 175 suggestions for using the three features of authentic communication to enhance twenty commonly used instructional activities across disciplines
- Additional examples of not-so-commonly-used activities that embody the three features
- Suggestions for improving four different types of teacher creativity needed to design effective lessons, activities, and assessments that maximize authentic communication
Our students deserve to get the most out of each minute of each lesson. Authentic communication can help. As you read The Communication Effect and apply its ideas, you will see how much better equipped and inspired your students are to grow into the amazing and gifted people that they were meant to become.