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“Turn and talk” variations

November 1, 2010

Deb Renner Smith, a literacy coach and consultant, has a great blog called Writing Every Day Works. I visit her site frequently for all of her great lesson plan tips. A few days ago she posted this great list of “turn and talk” prompts to encourage richer conversations in the classroom. As a big fan of interactive classrooms, I immediately earmarked it to share it with all of you.

I work with many kids who need more opportunities to communicate in the classroom. Some need to polish new language and communication skills. Others need to practice using a new communication system (e.g., device, sign language). Still others simply need more time to share with others and make connections with the classroom community.

“Turn and talk” is a nice way to break up a lecture, integrate social skills into standards-based content, and assess what students are learning as you move from lesson to lesson. How can you use these prompts to get more active participation in your classroom?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2010 6:18 pm

    Thank you for this. It is the exact issue my sister is facing in her classroom and I will share this with her. Thank you!

  2. Simon permalink
    November 2, 2010 8:02 pm

    very useful ideas indeed! My son like to use “I think…” and “what/ how about…” We can probably try out other starters and coach him with these. Integrating social skills into formal curriculum contents is really important. At school my son has been given a lot of such opportunities and has been challenged in one way or two at times. One recent significant change I observed (through his teachers and at home through our interactions) is that he is getting more confident in verbal communication and has even developed assertiveness (when it comes to something he really insists or holds strong belief) and sensibility! I think these turn and talks strategy really lies in the core of successful inclusive education!


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