Monday, June 8, 2015

Speaking and Listening Strategy: Partner Talk

Partner talk is a popular speaking and listening strategy for many teachers.  It is often referred to as “turn and talk” or “think-pair-share.” It's a well-loved strategy that never loses its effectiveness, if managed well.  While using this strategy and observing this in classrooms, I have noticed some problems. Sometimes, from the front of the room it appears like students are engaged. Often, upon closer examination students are off task. One student is talking about his dog, both partners are talking about the text, but are talking at the same time, or worse, students are communicating with one word answers or just staring at each other. Trust me, I've seen and experienced it all. What’s missing? Accountable talk.  We designed a simple strategy poster to help curb some of these mishaps.  -Emily

Partner Talk Strategy

  • Partners decide roles, speaker or listener
  • Partners sit eye to eye, knee to knee
  • Teacher poses question and speaker responds
  • Listener listens carefully and is ready to share the speaker’s thoughts
  • Teacher asks listeners, “What did your partner say?”
  • Teacher gives speaker an opportunity to confirm or add additional thoughts
  • Process is repeated and partners switch roles

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