Student Talk helps students process their learning, gather and share information, practice new skills and concepts, and build connections with others in the class (Mulvalhill, 2018). Increases in Student Talk are often associated with increases in student engagement (Gewetz, 2019). Blodgett (2014) made the case that “(t)he one doing the talking is the one doing the learning,” and we want our students to be doing the learning, right?
Looking for some ideas about how you can increase Student Talk time?
Try one of these techniques in your next lesson:
Set classroom expectations that when Students answer a closed-ended question they also explain their reasoning
Pause more frequently to check for understanding
Take more opportunities to check for understanding
Blocks of Student Talk
Blocks of Student Talk typically occur when students are talking among themselves, sharing ideas, and working through concepts. During blocks of Student Talk, both students and teachers can gain valuable insight into students’ level of engagement and what they do and don’t understand.
Looking to make blocks of Student Talk more effective as learning experiences?
Make sure your students:
Know what they are supposed to accomplish.
Are aware of how much time they have to complete the assignment.
Have the information and tools they need to do the work.
Have had time to think about the problem (or one like it) beforehand.
Need more ideas?
Here are some tips for making students’ collaborative learning more effective.
What if the Student Talk is off topic?
What if the Student Talk is off topic? Even if it is, not all productive Student Talk is about the lesson material.