Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Avoiding IRF

Have you heard of IRF?

It is a pattern of talking and listening that happens frequently between teachers and students.

The teachers asks something, the student responds, the teacher makes a comment and then you move on.

It is not a great example of deep and meaningful listening and speaking opportunity.

Here's the formal description:

Initiation-response-feedback (IRF)

Initiation-response-feedback, or IRF, is a pattern of discussion between the teacher and learner. The teacher initiates, the learner responds, the teacher gives feedback. This approach to the exchange of information in the classroom has been criticized as being more about the learner saying what the teacher wants to hear than really communicating.

Example:  The teacher asks a learner for rules about use of the present perfect, the learner gives an answer, and the teacher says whether that is correct or not.

Although this approach has been criticized, it can provide a useful framework for developing meaningful communication in a controlled form. For example, there is room for authentic input in an IRF dialogue such as:

- How many brothers have you got?
- Three!
- Oh so you've got three brothers! That's a big family! Etc.

The key is to use EXPANDED feedback with follow up questions.  The students should be talking more than the teacher and should feel HEARD.

Go here for more info:


Saturday, May 23, 2015

What's New in Books?

Want to know some sites to help with book recommendations for teachers?  

These two are great! Peggy Sharp has since retired but was a vast resource for best book pics.  She is now a library consultant.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Library Visit

As you know, I tour libraries whenever I can.  The kids and I went to a newly opened library that not only had a huge selection of children's books but some pretty cool library decorations.  I have a soft spot for library decorations from my inner city teaching days when the library was in desperate need of a makeover.  We'll definitely go back to this one.  


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Library Statues

My children and I chanced upon these statues at the library of children reading and had to stop and have a photo-shoot with them.  There was lots of hugging, climbing and sitting on laps.  Followed by hand sanitizer.  My million dollar mansion will have some of these in the front yard one day.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Reading in bed

Here's my first grader making me proud as we argue about "Five more minutes, Mom!"