Processing Strategy: Say/Mean/MatterKelly Gallahger , author of many professional books, including Deeper Reading, suggests that there is a way to scaffold students responses to text to gauge their level of comprehension. This helps students "Look into the text" for deeper meaning:
What does the text SAY?
What does this MEAN?
Why does this MATTER?
You may copy a portion of the text or summarize what it is saying. What does this mean to you? Why is this important? Why is the author sharing this information?
Say: “Teachers can build this mind-set in students by teaching them about the elasticity of the human brain and how hard work and focus can actually change the brain's physical aspects.”
Mean: Growth mindset is such an important aspect of child’s ability to learn. Some students have the mindset that they can’t do something because they have never been good at it or it doesn’t come naturally. As a teacher, we have the ability to change that mindset, because it CAN be changed. We can help students understand that if they work hard and focus on a task, they can do anything.
Matter: This is so important for students as they grow. Kids need confidence and need to learn proper work habits for when they get older. If students are able to develop a growth mind-set, they will have a chance to be successful with anything they do. As a teacher, we have the ability to change that mindset to point them in the right direction. If you work hard and persevere, you will put yourself in a position to be successful.
Say: "Teachers can build this mind-set in students by teaching them about the elasticity of the human brain and how hard work and focus can actually change the brain's physical aspects. "
Mean: Students can be quick to use the phrase "I can't" in the classroom. It is our responsibility as teachers to share with students that they may not be able to do something yet, but with hard work and practice they will be able to. I heard this at beginning of my year with my Kindergarten students in regards to reading. Students would say "But I can't read!" and I would remind them that we haven't learned how to yet! They will be able to read through focusing on their sight words, letter sounds, etc.
Matter: This is very important because it helps to build student stamina and grit within the classroom. If students are passionate enough about their learning to show stamina and grit then they are likely to develop a life long love of learning. Helping students to understand what they can accomplish with hard work and focus will help to increase their intrinsic motivation when it comes to learning. If we were to simply move on to the next topic when a student said "I can't" they might think that their difficulty in that area is permanent.
Say: “Regardless of whatever else teachers do, if they don't establish a safe and caring environment, student engagement will be minimal.”
Mean: Students must feel comfortable in order to engage to their fullest potential. Teachers need to establish and provide a learning environment which promotes this.
Matter: Teachers set the stage in the classroom so that students can perform at their best.
Say: Teachers can also indirectly communicate the importance of content through their enthusiasm. If the teacher is genuinely excited about content, the tacit message to students is that it contains useful information. Teachers can also share their excitement by recounting how they became interested in the content when they were students themselves.
Mean: Teacher enthusiasm is one of the most vital parts of keeping students engaged throughout a lesson or a unit.
Matter: Mastering this portion comes from understanding the content and then learning why and how it is interesting. I have found that if I myself am not a master of what I am teaching, it is hard for me to share my excitement. Therefore, I make sure that I go deeply into the unit and understand it in it’s entirety before beginning to design and certainly to teach a lesson. I have found that with some of my background in later grades and now being with younger students who are learning the foundational skills, I have been able to use my knowledge to be more enthusiastic about curriculum I may have not originally felt comfortable doing that with.
Jillian Simpkins (Flasher)
SAY: "Even if teachers make classroom activities interesting, students won't be deeply engaged unless they think they content is important to their lives. This, of course, can be a significant challenge because students might not immediately see how right triangles or reading a specific novel can be of use to them."
MEAN: Marzano is making a statement that in order for students to truely be engaged, they have to have some sort of connection with the material being presented. Often times this is a challenging task as many students don't find an immediate connection with the topic at hand.
MATTER: This is so important to us as teachers because we have a responsibility to help students find these connections or to share our own experiences. Students benefit from hearing our own real-life examples and will look to us to help them find their own connections.
SAY: The text states, "Feeling safe and cared for, experiencing high energy in the classroom, being interested in the activities, realizing that the content is important—although these components are essential, they can't sustain student engagement if students believe they can't accomplish the work."
MEAN: This quote emphasizes the importance of teachers creating a safe and caring environment for students, in which they are both intrinsically and extrinsically engaged. Most importantly, while it may seem obvious, students need to believe they can succeed in order to be successful.
MATTER: This is important because teachers need to not only believe in their students, but to teach students to assimilate a growth mindset. By developeing grit, students are more likely to be engaged and perservere through challenges.
Say: "Feeling safe and cared for, experiencing high energy in the classroom, being interested in the activities, realizing that the content is important—although these components are essential, they can't sustain student engagement if students believe they can't accomplish the work. The best safeguard against this possibility is to cultivate what Dweck refers to as the growth mind-set—the belief that individual effort is the key to success"
Mean: This passage means that we can do everything in our power to create the best learning environments and teach relevant and interesting lessons, but this does not ensure student engagement. Students must believe that they are not stuck with a specific amount of intelligence and that they are not simply either "smart" or "dumb." They must truly believe that working hard at a task will help them grow and succeed. If they have a growth mind-set and believe this is true, they will be motivated to continue working hard despite challenges and difficulties.
Matter: This concept is so important because it can be the difference between success and failure or between a student growing and remaining stuck. Students can have the best teacher in the world, but if they have a fixed mind-set, it won't matter how engaging or interesting a lesson or task is because the students will have already decided that they can't succeed even if they try hard. I have seen how the concept of a growth mind-set and the idea of having "grit" has helped my kindergarten students. Whenever they get frustrated with a task, they can now remind themselves that they have grit in them and can keep on going no matter what. This helps give them belief in themselves and motivation to work hard.
Say: Teachers can establish an energetic environment by maintaining a high energy level themselves as well as by incorporating physical movement into daily classroom activities. They might ask students to move to various parts of the room to signal their position on an issue or their answer to a question.
Mean: This quote means that as eduactors we need to learn how to naturally incorporate movement breaks into our isntructinoal blocks. For example, students will be asked to get out of their seats and go to a different part of the room to respond to a various question that the teacher may ask.
Matter: This quote matters because students cannot be expected to sit for 65 minutes straight during a math lesson. Students reuire movement breaks to help boost brain function and congition. Movement breaks may consist of a GoNoodle, asking a particluar student to get something for you, encouraging students to stand up and stretch, taking a walk to the water fountain, etc. There are so many various forms of movement breaks that could be implemented in a classroom. We as teachers need to be aware of when our students would need a movement break and naturally incorporate them when we can.
Say: “Regardless of whatever else teachers do, if they don't establish a safe and caring environment, student engagement will be minimal. Safety begins with well-developed rules and procedures that all students understand. Teachers need to continually revisit and update these rules and procedures to meet students' changing needs and the classroom's changing environment.”
Mean: In order to foster student engagement, a teacher must create a classroom environment where students feel safe and comfortable.
Matter- This is important because creating a positive environment is an intentional process. Teachers must take time to plan how to foster an environment that encourages student engagement.
Say - Engaged students need to feel safe, have a desire/interest to learn, be enthusiastic by relating learning to real life situations and have a personal drive to learn. Putting forth personal effort, on the part of the student and teacher, enhances ones ability to learn.
Mean - How teachers teach, stongly influences student engagement. Teachers need to use a variety of teaching tools to meet the learning styles of all children. Engaged learners are interested, enthusiastic, engaged and feel safe in their learning environment.
Matter - The key to students obtaining their highest level of learning stems from a positive, engaging learning environment, in which teachers set the tone.
Say: “Student engagement is strongly influenced by what teachers do in class. With preparation and planning, every teacher can use these techniques to heighten student engagement.”
Mean: This excerpt from the article means that engagement doesn’t happen by chance, it is prepared and planned and can be gauged directly by teacher effort.
Matter: As a teacher you need to be thinking about student engagement as you plan your lessons, lessons go much deeper than just putting content out for students to know and if they are not actively involved or engaged learning will not occur.
Say: "Regardless of whatever else teahers do, if they don't establish a safe and caring environment, student engagement will be minimal. Safety begins with well-developed rules and procedures that all students understand. Teachers need to continually revisit and update these rules and procedures to meet students' changin gneeds and the classroom's changing environment."
Mean: This phrase reminds me how important bondingw ith my students both individually and as a whole class through morning meeting it is. It reminds me that what works for the students in the beginning of the year might need to be adapted to their needs later in the year. At the age of my students, fourth grade, they can have more independce at the end of the year than they might have been able to handle in the beginning.
Matter: The author is sharing this information to remind us that we spend more hourse with them every day than we do our own families. In order for our students to really thrive academically they have to have a secure and safe learning environment.
Casey Torok- Say/Mean/Matter
Say: This article says that there are four questions teachers must ask themselves when planning for student engagement. They are as follows: Do I provide a safe, caring, and energetic environment? Do I make things interesting? Do I demonstrate why the content is important? Do I help students realize that personal effect is the key to success? Teachers can heighten their student engagement by asking themselves these questions.
Mean: This means that teachers must be intentional and purposeful when planning in order to capitalize on student engagement. Lesson planning goes much deeper than objectives and assessments.
Matter: This matters because student engagement is arguably the most important predictor of successful learning.
Say: "Teachers can also indirectly communicate the importance of content through their enthusiasm. If the teacher is genuinely excited about content, the tacit message to students is that it contains useful information. Teachers can also share their excitement by recounting how they became interested in the content when they were students themselves."
Mean: We must constantly ensure that students know why they are learning what they are learning. Students must see the importance of content in their everyday lives and futures, or else they will have no investment or personal purpose for wanting to learn it.
Matter: Marzano shares this as a way to show teachers how to convey the importance of content to students. As he states, students will not be truly engaged or interested if they do not believe the content is somehow useful or important to their everyday lives. In order to truly engage students, we must make the content seem relevant and important to them.