Engage in Partner Talk
Collaborative Group Work: Students work collaboratively to discuss problems and ideas in context, to solve problems together, and to complete projects or assessments with a deliberate protocol that establishes norms for student interaction.
Collaborative Group Work: Students work collaboratively to discuss problems and ideas in context, to solve problems together, and to complete projects or assessments with a deliberate protocol that establishes norms for student interaction.

Accountable Talk Stems and Exceptional Collaborator Award

Kara creates a classroom environment that centers around collaboration.  During this activity, Kara has her students work with partners to solve problems.  This collaborative work enables students to provide support to their peers, accept support from their peers, and provide feedback. Kara provides students with accountable talk stems as a reference and conferences with students to ensure this collaboration is effective. In addition, Kara gives out an Exceptional Collaborator Award, to students who are collaborating effectively. These strategies promote collaboration and support students to appropriately and effectively work with partners.

About This Strategy
prep time:
Moderate
Grade Level: Fourth grade
Teaching Challenge: Engage in Partner Talk
Kara Nelson
Meadowlark Elementray
undefined, MT
Strategy Implementation Questions
Questions to think about when implementing the strategy
  • How could you create a classroom environment that centers around collaboration?
  • What could be challenging about this strategy? How could you prepare to address any challenges?
  • How could you support students to effectively collaborate and support one another?
  • What references and tools could you provide students to support them in collaborating and helping their peers?
Lesson Notes

One method for supporting special education students with this strategy is to focus on one or two specific talk stems at a time. While variety is good, it can also be overwhelming for some studens. By having students focus on just one or two specific sentence starters, they are able to concentrate their energy on giving one solid piece of feedback rather than several pieces of mediocre feedback.


Math Partners:

Students continued working with the same math partners as yesterday. Even though students were working on their own slides, they'd often check with their partner before taking a picture of their representation. Also, some students needed their partner's support to take a picture. One student would hold up the computer or fraction model while the other student took a picture.  

Different Starting Points

While many students were ready to begin representing fractions using the 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, and 1/100 presentations, others were still finishing up their representations of fractions from yesterday (1/5, 1/6, and 1/7). Students were able to advance when they were ready! 

Monitoring Student Understanding

Once students began working, I conferenced with every student. My goal was to support students by providing them with the opportunity to explain their thinking and by asking guiding questions. I also wanted to encourage students to construct viable arguments by using evidence to support their thinking (Math Practice 3). 

  1. How did you choose this tool?
  2. Is this tool working out for you?
  3. Have you run into any problems with this tool? 
  4. Can you show me 1/8? 
  5. How many units of 1/10 will it take to get to a whole? 
  6. How do you know? 
  7. Where is one whole? 
  8. Can you explain your thinking? 
  9. Which comment was the most helpful? Why? 

Conferences

While conferencing with this student, Representing 1:10 of 20 Pencils, I tried to help this student use prior knowledge (an understanding of 1/10) to complete the equation.

 


About This Strategy
prep time:
Moderate
Grade Level: Fourth grade
Teaching Challenge: Engage in Partner Talk
Kara Nelson
Meadowlark Elementray
undefined, MT
Artifacts
Instructional Resource
Lesson File:Math Talk Anchor Chart.jpg
This anchor chart contains guidelines for giving peer feedback.
Instructional Resource
Lesson File:Exceptional Collaborator Award.pdf
This award was given to students who worked collaboratively most effectively.
Students In Action
Lesson File:Conference 1.MOV
In this video, students are are engaged in peer review and collaboration.
Strategy Implementation Notes
Lesson File:Classroom Video: Discourse and Questioning
In this video, Kara explains collaboration. The video also shows Kara's students involved in discourse and collaboration during revision of peer work.
Teaching Move
Lesson File:Classroom Video: Rigor
In this video, Kara participates in group collaboration and provides feedback/facilitates the group.
Similar Strategies

Partner Problem Talk

Tiffany splits the class in half. Half of the class receives problem A. The other half receives problem B. Students work independently for five minutes before partnering up with someone who has the same problem for 10 minutes. During this time, they give and get help on their problem. Then, students partner up with someone who had a different problem and they review and critique each other's work. 

Peer Review