The Speaking and Listening Strand (S/L) standards require classrooms to develop many ways to promote academic conversations. The range of conversations includes pairs, small groups and whole-class opportunities. However, the basics must be taught; students do not come prepared to have quality conversations. The rigor and communicative skills needed for routine academic conversations must be taught, assessed, and reinforced. PARCC has said the S/L standards will be assessed and will count as part of the summative assessment. All the more reason to get good at teaching them as soon as possible.
Today, PARCC has released prototypes of assessment items for review and for use as tools. Review the item prototypes and other PARCC resources associated with them at http://www.parcconline.org/samples/item-task-prototypes.
Prepare for and plan for a success-filled school year!
Fisher, D., Frey, N., Rothenberg, C. (2008). Content-area conversations: How to plan discussion-based lessons for diverse learners. Alexandria, VA. ASCD.