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January 29, 2015

3 Great Ways to Get Students Communicating

By Kriscia Cabral
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    One valuable aspect of the Common Core Standards is the need for more discussion in the classroom. I love to watch powerful communication and collaboration amongst students. Here are three ways that I encourage this in a learning space.

     

    Book Talks

    The idea of book talks in my classroom came from a colleague of mine. Book talks give students one-on-one time with me, another adult, or a peer to talk about a book they have finished. Once a student is finished with a book, he or she can use this form to schedule a book talk meeting. The meeting is an open conversation about the book the student read. I focus questions around who, what, when, where, why, and how. I ask for evidence and examples from the text for students to prove the points they are making. I also give parents this handout as a guide for them to ask questions at home. Students use the same guide when they are questioning each other.

    What I love about book talks:

    • Student-led discussions about books

    • One-on-one conversations

    • A growing list of book recommendations made by students

     

    Appointments

    Appointments are set when students feel that they need to have a word with me. I introduce appointments like this: “Our days are very busy. I know that there are times many of you want to share a story or concern and you don’t get a chance to. Appointments are made for those times. Sign up for an appointment and I will make sure to meet with you before the end of the next day.”

    The appointment sign-up sheet is posted in our homeroom. Students can sign up any time that I am not in a whole-group conversation. I make it my job to meet with those students to address their need. This can be first in the morning, on our way to recess, during quiet reading time, or whenever I can find a moment.

    What I love about appointments:

    • Taking a moment to acknowledge my students for something they want instead of something I want

    • Connecting and hearing student stories

    • Having a conversation with students and listening for how well they can retell, articulate, and speak fluidly

    • Checking in with students regarding areas of need (They might be more willing to sign up and share than come directly to me and say something is wrong.)

     

    Fun!

    A homeroom favorite way to increase communication skills is by playing board games that promote communication. Board games offer an opportunity for students to take turns speaking, follow rules that have been agreed upon by the group, communicate needs for the given situation, and problem-solve. I try to make a point to have these game boards out during our free time or on rainy days.

    Here are some board games that promote communication skills:

    Communication skills are vital for twenty-first century learners. Students need to practice speaking often. Through this, they gain confidence in their ability to express, share, and present orally to teachers, parents, and peers. 

    What do you do to promote oral communication in your room? Please share in the comment section below.

    Thank you for reading.

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

    One valuable aspect of the Common Core Standards is the need for more discussion in the classroom. I love to watch powerful communication and collaboration amongst students. Here are three ways that I encourage this in a learning space.

     

    Book Talks

    The idea of book talks in my classroom came from a colleague of mine. Book talks give students one-on-one time with me, another adult, or a peer to talk about a book they have finished. Once a student is finished with a book, he or she can use this form to schedule a book talk meeting. The meeting is an open conversation about the book the student read. I focus questions around who, what, when, where, why, and how. I ask for evidence and examples from the text for students to prove the points they are making. I also give parents this handout as a guide for them to ask questions at home. Students use the same guide when they are questioning each other.

    What I love about book talks:

    • Student-led discussions about books

    • One-on-one conversations

    • A growing list of book recommendations made by students

     

    Appointments

    Appointments are set when students feel that they need to have a word with me. I introduce appointments like this: “Our days are very busy. I know that there are times many of you want to share a story or concern and you don’t get a chance to. Appointments are made for those times. Sign up for an appointment and I will make sure to meet with you before the end of the next day.”

    The appointment sign-up sheet is posted in our homeroom. Students can sign up any time that I am not in a whole-group conversation. I make it my job to meet with those students to address their need. This can be first in the morning, on our way to recess, during quiet reading time, or whenever I can find a moment.

    What I love about appointments:

    • Taking a moment to acknowledge my students for something they want instead of something I want

    • Connecting and hearing student stories

    • Having a conversation with students and listening for how well they can retell, articulate, and speak fluidly

    • Checking in with students regarding areas of need (They might be more willing to sign up and share than come directly to me and say something is wrong.)

     

    Fun!

    A homeroom favorite way to increase communication skills is by playing board games that promote communication. Board games offer an opportunity for students to take turns speaking, follow rules that have been agreed upon by the group, communicate needs for the given situation, and problem-solve. I try to make a point to have these game boards out during our free time or on rainy days.

    Here are some board games that promote communication skills:

    Communication skills are vital for twenty-first century learners. Students need to practice speaking often. Through this, they gain confidence in their ability to express, share, and present orally to teachers, parents, and peers. 

    What do you do to promote oral communication in your room? Please share in the comment section below.

    Thank you for reading.

    Smiles,

    Kriscia

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