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:
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.
‘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’.
Year 4 and Year 6 children discussing the advantages of doing P4C.
Students should be doing most of the talking.
Pair talk / talk partners is an excellent technique (as long as it’s done properly!)
Pupil Voice is an important part of my Talk Audits; here are some recent responses when I asked Key Stage 2 children their opinions about Hands Up…
After a term of working with me on Productive Talk, I asked teachers what the impact has been on their classes.
My provocation at Challenge Partners Conference, Blackpool, October 2016: What is more important: developing curiosity or measurable academic progress?