School Site Focus
At McKinley, we use a variety of protocols to provide students with opportunities to talk to the teacher and each other in pairs and groups, to explain their thinking, justify their reasoning, use evidence to prove a point, and deepen their understanding. This focus was selected because assessment data shows that listening and speaking skills, and communicating reasoning in math, are areas of need for our students. So when you walk into a McKinley classroom you will see students actively engaged in learning, working collaboratively, and will hear productive noise. You will also see students using sentence frames and Thinking Maps to guide their thinking and apply academic vocabulary. Discourse is applied across the curriculum in all subject areas to develop 21st century, academic, and socail-emotional learning skills.
Some benefits of Academic Discourse include:
- Discourse is a research-based proven effective strategy for closing the achievement gap.
- Discourse strengthens listening and speaking skills and deepens students’ understanding of concepts.
- Discourse develops students’ higher-order thinking, critical thinking, and problem solving skills, all of which will be transferred across subject areas.
- Discourse engages students in learning and in school.
- Discourse promotes a positive school culture by facilitating relationship building.
- Discourse benefits English Learners by rapidly developing an academic language.
- Discourse ties directly into District, LCAP, SPSA, and McKinley goals.