In October (yes, I am a little behind in the blog!), the Redefine team met to explore how to get kids COMMUNICATING more in our classrooms. I was very encouraged by this meeting because teacher from all different divisions shared instructional strategies and ideas to get kids communicating, and so many of these ideas were transferrable. We felt UNITED in our mission to increase effective communication in our classroom.
Here were some of my big take-aways:
- You need to plan for kids to be talking. It isn’t just going to happen. When you look at your lesson plans for the week, how many opportunities are you intentionally giving kids to talk in your classrooms?
- Getting kids talking isn’t good enough. We need to teach them how to have good, intelligent conversations! One way to do this is to reinvent roles when grouping. Remember when we first started teaching, and the trend was “one person is a recorder, one person is a time-keeper, one person is an encourager” and so on? This takes that idea, which was not always worth the effort it took to create and manage the roles, and tweaks it to give kids different speaking roles. The next time you have your kids working in groups, try assigning them one of these roles:
Want your mind to REALLY be blown? When conducting a discussion on schoology, assign these roles to kids as the REPLY to each other (instead of the usual Nice job, Becky. I totally agree with everything you are saying).
- Struggling getting kids talking because you have a high ELL population? One of the things we discussed that is especially effective when working with ELL students is requiring students to speak in complete sentences. Once you enforce this, students will learn how to better express their ideas and have confidence in their speaking skills. When you first begin this, you may need to provide sentence starters for your ELL students so that they have the tools to create an academic sentence.
- Do you know your students have a lot to share but are just naturally a very quiet group? Technology can help! There are many great apps that help get kids talking. Check out one of these today! If you need help using them, I would love to meet with you, teach you, and plan with you!
- Adobe Voice
- Show Me
Our Challenge: Look at 1 lesson you have coming up in the next 2 weeks and adjust it to include more student communication. If you do, share with us by commenting on our blog!
Thanks for reading!