in one of my last semesters of college, I had this fabulous professor, Lily Taylor. She wore tennis shoes with all of her dresses because she insisted on being comfortable while she taught. She had a wealth of knowledge about effective classroom management strategies and she had a way of speaking that drew you in and made you want to listen. Professor Taylor was wonderful. Of the countless things I learned from her, the most memorable lecture is summed up in this quote: The people in the classroom who are doing most of the talking are the people in the classroom who are doing most of the learning.
I have reflected on this quote frequently and often remind myself to stop talking and give the students room to discuss what they are learning. I believe that learning is LOUD and I incorporate instructional strategies that align with this belief. Are you wondering how to get your students talking about content in your classroom? Here are some ideas about using conversations to increase learning.
TURN AND TALK
I use this strategy in EVERY lesson. I’m not exaggerating. It’s quick and easy, it can be worked in anywhere and you can establish the routine instantly. My students sit in tables in groups of 4. I teach them that they have three partner groupings at their table:
Here’s how it works.
The greatest value of this strategy is that talking about content helps students make connections in their minds, which leads to deeper understanding. It is a complicated skill to explain something you recently learned to someone else.
This is another strategy I use every day. It takes a little more time than turn and talk, but is still very quick and easy. I use the same partner groupings that I use for turn and talk.
Here’s how it works.
The greatest value of this strategy is that every student has the chance to share their idea, even though I don’t call on every student.
If you're looking for more ideas on this topic, stay tuned! I have more talking strategies coming in a post later this week. Until then, Happy Teaching!