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Questioning the Author: A Yearlong Classroom Implementation to Engage Students with Text

Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, Cheryl Sandora, Linda Kucan and Jo Worthy
The Elementary School Journal
Vol. 96, No. 4 (Mar., 1996), pp. 385-414
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1001863
Page Count: 30
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Questioning the Author: A Yearlong Classroom Implementation to Engage Students with Text
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Abstract

This article describes the development and implementation of Questioning the Author, an instructional intervention that focuses on having students grapple with and reflect on what an author is trying to say in order to build a representation from it. The implementation involved a social studies teacher, a reading/language arts teacher, and their 23 inner-city fourth-grade students in a small parochial school. Analyses of transcripts of videotaped lessons and classroom observations revealed that teacher talk decreased in quantity and increased in quality with more emphasis on questions focused on constructing and extending meaning and more skill in refining and using students' comments in discussion. Changes in the content of student talk were also documented. These included an increase in the number and complexity of student-initiated questions and evidence of the development of student collaboration. Teachers' journal entries and students' responses in interviews provided insights about their views of the implementation.

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