Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Talk, Talk, Talk


This week I sat in a Learning Walkthrough and had an engaging conversation with a staff member. We were talking about best practice, when suddenly it hit her - we communicate how turn and talks can be effective tools to encourage discourse in the classroom, however without proper training on questioning strategies, routine management and thinking flexibly the turn and talk can loose its ability to be the strategic practice it is meant to be. This week I wanted to provide a few resources which reinforce the turn and talk strategy.

The first is an article by Lucy West titled, Turn and Talk: One Powerful Practice, So Many Uses. This article discusses the instructional strategies of turn and talk, think-pair-share and partner talk. With these instructional practices in mind, West explains the pedagogy and why these strategies are effective. In addition, she provides explanations around the "Benefits of Turn & Talk", "10 Clues that Indicate It's Time to Turn and Talk", "Pitfalls In Facilitating Turn & Talk" and "Tips for Facilitation". What I love about this article is that it is a quick, concise reference. Whether your staff has new teachers facilitating for the first time or is comprised of novice teachers looking for a quick "ah-ha"; this is a great resource to refer them to.  

As I have referenced in many other posts, teachingchannel.org offers videos which show best practices in action. I wanted to highlight two different videos. One comes out of a fifth grade classroom. This video highlights facilitating a larger conversation around text as a whole group. Stacy Brewer (the teacher) has instilled routines and set expectations in her classroom when facilitating a whole group discussion. The second video takes us into a high school history classroom. Here the teacher, Shilpa Duvoor talks about the physical routine of turn and talk in her classroom. She highlights how the physical position of the students helps to foster and encourage discourse around meaty academic topics.  


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