One of the features of 21st century classrooms that teachers are being encouraged to create is collaborative classrooms where students feel comfortable to share ideas and provide each other with feedback. Elbow to elbow partner talk is a great practice which encourages students to share their thinking or offer feedback in a small group situation. Last week I used this technique to allow students to share their writing with a partner and then offer ideas to make their partner’s work even better. The results from this five minute talk time were amazing. Most students added something else to their writing and a less able student with a blank page was able to complete the writing task with his very supportive partner’s assistance. A win -win for me, the teacher, and for the quality of the student work that was completed.
All young students enjoy sharing their life experiences with the class but at times news can be boring for the audience. To get all students more involved there are two activities you can do using the set of cards above.
1) The cards, today, tomorrow and yesterday are placed on three chairs at the front of the room. One person is chosen to tell their news and three students are picked to sit on the chairs. The student tells their news. Then the students on the chairs retell the news using the word on their chair. This activity encourages students to listen carefully and retell another persons news in a different tense.
2) Distribute the who, what, where, when, how and why, questions to students in the audience. The students listen to the news teller and determines whether the question has been answered. If not, they ask the student saying news their question. This activity encourages students to think about the news they are retelling and the audience to listen carefully.
These activities can be found in this book written by two members of Trio. This set of cards is also available as a free download.