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Accountable Talk in a Primary Classroom

March 2013

Rebecca Poff

on 15 April 2013

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Transcript of Accountable Talk in a Primary Classroom

The value of purposeful talk in a primary classroom. Accountable Talk Accountable Talk = Purposeful Talk

Accountable Talk aligns well with constructivist approaches to learning.

By this we mean that students build and develop their thinking through talk.

"In dialogue, we attempt to call forth the best the other person has to offer and put forth the best we can imagine. Dialogue requires thoughtful listening and responding. It is a time when participants collaborate and co-produce meaning. Where learning is concerned, I believe the kind of talk to be prized above all others is dialogue."

Ralph Peterson, Life in a Crowded Place What? Both students AND teacher engage in talk, which has urgency, focus and purpose.

Though the students do most of the talking, the teacher orchestrates the talk.The teacher may:
mark or highlight specific ideas
turn back the ideas to the children
revoice or rephrase ideas to help build thinking
model thinking aloud
fill in missing background information
recap or summarize ideas

Who talks? Everyone does! Who? Accountable Talk occurs throughout the day.

There is not an "Accountable Talk" time.

Accountable Talk does not happen on schedule between 9:00 and 9:30 am.

Engaging in accountable talk in a productive manner requires a Phase Shift or a Paradigm Shift in thinking. When? Maximizes student achievement.

In a variety of ways... Why? Accountable Talk takes place throughout the room, in various locations and formats.

Meeting spaces are available to accommodate large and small groups, and pairs.

Student may meet on carpets or mats.

Students may also create their own informal meeting areas. Where? To organize accountable talk, teachers often use co-operative learning strategies.

These strategies might come from Kagan. These structures are supported by extensive research by Dr. Spencer Kagan's team.

Or they might come from Tribes Learning Community -- A New Way of Learning and Being Together.

A useful and popular strategy is Turn and Talk.

But... What does it look like?

What does it sound like? How? Increases feelings of self-efficacy, safety, comfort, success. Increases student engagement.

Reduces behaviours that interfere with student learning. Builds student relationships in the learning community.

Contributes to a learning environment where productive risk-taking is safe. More than one meeting area. Small group work areas, tables.

Impromptu case conference on a word. Reading During Read Around the Room, students explore their texts using Acountable Talk. Key question: Is my talk helping my reading? The opportunity to clarify thinking with talk engages primary readers. Writing Writing Around the Room -- Daily Journal Writing Writer's Chair with Stars and Wishes Mathematics Math Menu
Around the Room Mathematics Problem Solving through Accountable Talk and games And... What does it feel like? "It feels nice, so then you can learn more things."

Kate, grade 1 "Happy... exciting... because I ask people for words."
Sebastian, grade 1 "It feels like you're talking about something that you love but it's like you're learning at the same time while you're talking about something that you love."

Lily, grade 2 Whole group meeting areas. Informal meeting areas. Helping someone who is "stuck on a word" "The way human beings learn has nothing to do with being kept quiet."
__ Ralph Peterson individual to community
transmission to constructivist
right answers to valuing ideas Builds thinking skills and helps students learn to negotiate and create meaning. "Happy...because you might get to share something about a new toy."
Sarah, grade 1 "I like to sit where I want to and talk about the book I'm reading with my friends.... I feel happy."

Curtis, grade 2 "I would say it kind of helps me... happy."

Ryan, grade 2
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