S3: Student conversations transcript

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: My students are enthralled and excited every time I introduce a new text to them. There's a lot to be said for my enthusiasm and my love of quality pieces of literature.

You are going to work in your guided reading groups and you're going to discuss the actions and motives of the mother. I want you to have a look at your roles. As usual, we're going to have a manager, we're going to have a director and we're going to have a speaker.

Student 1: Because it's more of a yellow colour, so when we associate with yellow, what do we associate with it?

Student 2: It's washed out almost as if she's not important and not needed.

Student 1: Also the way that she looks down, would that also create that she feels unimportant?

Student 2: You would never...you never actually see her face up until the end.

Student 3: But that wouldn't go with colour. That would go, like, in this section.

Student 2: She's alone. Like, the boys are usually all together.

Student 1: So all the men are together.

Student 2: Yeah, all the men are together in a big double-page spread, and then she's alone in this little box-like frame.

Student 1: There's no way that she can get out of the box.

Student 2: Yeah. It's like she's trying to escape in a way. And she's got so many jobs to do. But she's got, like, slouched posture which usually represents people who aren't really proud of themselves. If people are proud of themselves they stand up really tall. But then if they're sort of depressed, then they sort of arch their back and don't sort of look up.

Student 3: ‘Cause In the olden days, normally the stereotypical is that the mother always does everything.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: They engage in wonderful discussions. Rich, powerful discussions where they evaluate and make judgements and critically respond to themes and issues presented in the text.

Can you tell me what you're focusing on in this group?

Student – Trey: Um, we're focusing on how does the mother act in the text 'Piggy Book'.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: OK, well done. So what have we got so far? What does she do? What are her actions?

Student 5: Um, she is reliable because the boys can always, like, rely on her to do things.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: Like what? What kind of things?

Student 5: Like when they go to school, she's always doing everything last - like, she always makes her meals last so she can get their jobs done.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: Well done. What else came up in that discussion, Emmanuel?

Student – Emmanuel: She is very independent and she works by herself.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: Oh, OK. Alright, what else? How else does the mother act in the story? What are some of her behaviours, Trey?

Student – Trey: She has steps in her everyday life because...

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: What do you mean by steps?

Student – Trey: 'Cause in the frames that it has ... like the washed-out frames

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: Let's have a look.

Student – Trey: ... it shows she's doing different things at every frame, so, like, what she does every day.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: Is there ever an end to what she does?

Students: No.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: OK. How do you know that?

Student 5: Because there's always, like, dots there.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: (GASPS) There's always dots. That tells you it keeps what?

Students: It keeps on going.

Teacher – Vicky Valensise: Well done. The ellipsis. Good pick-up, guys.

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