I wanted to give them time to talk and share with their classmates – but rather than a chaotic free-for-all, I wanted to create an activity that would provide them with an opportunity to talk and teach them a valuable life skill at the same time.
Build classroom community while allowing your students to develop their speaking and listening skills: Sounds like a win-win to me!
Here’s how it works:
*Before we start this weekly routine I did a mini-lesson with my class about what Class Conversations look like and sound like as well as some suggested sentence starters for them to use when responding to each other’s comments.
*Divide your class into groups of 4-5 students. (you can change the groups each time or keep them the same all year)
*Assign one student in each group to be the Discussion Leader and one to be the Scribe (optional).
*Give them each a card (or read a card out loud for the whole class to use)
*Set the timer. I usually let the kids talk for 5-7 minutes, depending on the conversation topic and the schedule for the day.
*While the group is talking, have them display the “Actively Conversing” card
*When they are finished talking, have them switch to the “Finished Conversing” card
*At the end of the time, the Scribe can share the highlights from each group’s conversation with the whole class (optional)
I have included the posters I use in my classrooms plus blank ones for you to customize and/or use as a place for the students to take notes. I have also included the name tag tents for the Discussion Leader and Scribe, as well as the sign tents for “Actively Conversing” and “Finished Conversing” (available in color and B&W)
Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store to purchase this print-and-go resource with conversation cards for the whole year!