More pupil voice about the idea of changing talk partners more often.
When using random selection in whole class learning, if a child doesn’t respond, there are several options.
RAG cups are red, amber and green paper cups which some schools make available to every child in every lesson. The expectation is that children will continuously reflect on their learning, asking themselves throughout the lesson How is my learning going? and showing their answer using the cups. In simple terms red means I’m stuck, amber means I‘m not sure, green means I understand.
Here’s what a deputy headteacher in Manchester had to say about their transformational effect:
Here are some quotes from Manley Park pupils:
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As well as providing talk prompts to help children express their ideas, I’ve noticed it’s also useful to have some that enable them to ask for thinking time or help.
So, I’ve developed some new prompts - examples shown here. Teachers have already fed back to me the difference these make during class discussion, with children now expressing that they need help rather than sitting with that worried “rabbit in the headlights” expression.
Children are realising it’s ok to say I need some help… and are asking for time to think rather than missing out on their opportunity to contribute.
These prompts change pupils’ status from passive to active learners.
I wrote recently about the benefits of random selection over ‘hands up’. Lolly sticks are a really simple way to randomly select children, but like anything they need to be used properly to ensure the intended positive outcome. Here are some tips:
ask the question before picking a stick out of the cup
use a variety of questions, not just recall
give children time to think, and jot
let children talk to a partner
always put back the sticks so that children know they may be asked again
use the sticks genuinely as they are intended (e.g. don’t use tricks such as colour coding to select specific children; if you really do want to occasionally ask a specific child, just ask them - no need for lolly sticks!)
always use lolly sticks positively, never punitively
“Dialogue allows participants to have thoughts they could not have had on their own…”
Game and Metcalfe 2009
‘Hands up’ is a very common way of inviting pupil participation in lessons. However, research shows that typically only around 25% of the class raise their hands.
Magical results of modelling pair talk using a ‘talking toy’.
Sometimes we just assume our pupils have understood the lesson…
What a class of Manchester nine year olds decided to talk about in P4C.
In a recent SAPERE P4C update it was great to hear that P4C is being recognised by Ofsted as helping pupils with life readiness and wellbeing.
A great way to start the day in Early Years - developing early language and reasoning as well as engaging families in their child’s learning.
Fascinating programme on BBC Radio 4 today - made me deeply sad and compelled to do more…
Two fun warm-up games that you can use in your P4C practice.