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.
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’.
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…
Pupils immediately speaking in more powerful, articulate sentences as a result of a really simple technique.
I was thrilled to see the newly-developed promise displayed in every classroom on a return visit to one of my 'talk schools'.
What children think of changing talk partners more often.
Schools can benefit from implementing a talk agreement, promise, or pledge.
Students should be doing most of the talking.
Pair talk / talk partners is an excellent technique (as long as it’s done properly!)
Encouraging pupils to argue and debate in class can help boost their results in English, Maths and Science, according to research by the Education Endowment Foundation.
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…
“This report talks about a generation of children and young people growing up in a world where good speech, language and communication skills are increasingly vital …“