Reflection: Student Communication Different? -Learning From Wilbur- The Naked Mole Rat - Section 2: Interactive Read Aloud


Turn and talks are an important part of every lesson.  I systematically teach students how to listen and speak to each other.  They come into the intermediate grades at my school with an understanding of how to turn and talk, but I reinforce the skills they have learned.   I teach students to look at each other and I teach them to turn and talk by nodding, asking questions, and they love to raise their hand to share what their partner said. 

Everyone needs to talk and listen in an active classroom.  I think about how to pair up students and how to quickly make a group of three if their partner is absent.  I think about personalities, and match students based on who I think will be good for each other.  I have students sit in rows and columns on the rug.  Partners are labeled A and B.  I say, "Partner A will share first, or Partner B will share first."  At the beginning of the year, my directions to students on how to turn and talk are very explicit.  My goal is to get everyone listening and talking.  I especially want to support ELLs and Resource room students with everyday language and academic language.  

I listen in and coach partnerships.  I make a point of calling on students to share what their partner has said.  If they shrug and don't have anything to say. I teach them to ask their partner to repeat what they have said.  My purpose is to develop accountable talk.  Turn and talks are short. To move forward, I say,  "Readers, I need your eyes and ears in 3, 2, 1". 

Turn and talks are a very useful tool to allow students to process and make sense of information. I have seen that most students understand by sharing what their partner said that they are paying them a compliment and it makes them fel grown up.  It is especially helpful for ELL students and Resource students who are mastering academic language to repeat what their partner said to get their mouths used to saying new words.  Developing routines to support all students sharing ideas develops a strong classroom community.

  Student Communication: Turn and Talks
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Different? -Learning From Wilbur- The Naked Mole Rat

Unit 5: Using Mentor Texts
Lesson 1 of 9

Objective: SWBAT use the plot of a picture book to discuss the classroom norm of its O.K. to be different.

Big Idea: Use the story elements of "Wilbur the Naked Mole Rat" as an interactive read-aloud to create classroom norms

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