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Accountable Talk in the Classroom

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on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of Accountable Talk in the Classroom

Accountable Talk in the Classroom
Lucy West

Accountable talk refers to the ways that teachers skillfully encourage their students to think deeply, articulate their reasoning and listen with a purpose. It is shaped by the tasks in which students engage as well as by the nature of the learning environment.
Why it Matters

The more student's talk the more they learn.
The more they learn, the more they achieve!



EQAO Survey DATA 2013

Youtube.com clips: Big Bang Theory
What is Accountable Talk?
The term “accountable talk” refers to talk that
is meaningful, respectful, and mutually beneficial to both speaker
and listener.

Accountable talk stimulates higher-order thinking—helping
students to learn, reflect on their learning, and communicate their
knowledge and understanding. To promote accountable talk,
teachers create a collaborative learning environment in which students feel confident in expressing their ideas,
opinions, and knowledge

(A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction
Volume 1 Grades 4 - 6)
What are the Qualities of a Classroom with Accountable Talk?
Professor Robin Alexander from the Faculty of Education,
University of Cambridge describes classrooms in which Accountable Talk is evident as:

teachers and students address learning tasks together, as a group or as a class

teachers and students listen to each other, share ideas and consider alternative viewpoints

students articulate their ideas freely,
without fear of embarrassment over
“wrong” answers and they help each other to reach common understandings

teachers and students build on their own and each other‟s ideas and chain them into coherent lines of thinking and inquiry

teachers plan and steer classroom talk with specific educational goals

These things all support Lucy West's proven theory!

But teachers are often left
If you can make student thinking visible,
if you can hear what they are thinking
then you can give feedback.

It is possible to give verbal descriptive feedback
everyday to a number of students because you are engaged in listening to what they are thinking about,
and when you hear what they are thinking about
you can respond immediately with feedback.
(West, 2011)

After all....
How Do You
Build A Safe Environment
For Discourse?
Teachers can nurture a culture of learning by promoting a climate of openness where all responses are accepted, all students are respected, and mistakes are treated as rich opportunities for learning by: (Questioning Viewer Guide Learning Video Series www.edugains.ca)
 Providing the question in advance
 Allowing time for collaboration with peers before responding
 Using a “no hands” strategy by picking the respondent rather than asking for a volunteer and, if the student doesn’t havea response, he/she has a right to pass “for now”.
 Returning to the student who passed for a response after an extended think time and an opportunity to listen to the responses of other students
 Explicitly stating that it is expected that students will listen to one another‟s ideas and be able to question or comment once the speaker is done (Lucy West)
 Expecting (or teaching) students to look at the speaker and to refrain from raising their hands while someone else is speaking (Lucy West)
....so be the model for our Students!
Lucy West
What is Accountable talk?
Welcome to Mrs. Dalli's
Start Small

Talk about

Talk about Risk

Talk about
...Then create anchors to show students what it Accountable Talk looks and sounds like!
Remember to make Accountable Talk RELEVANT, so you have student buy-in!
Once you have buy-in students will begin to participate in and recognize Accountable Talk in their own lives in all types of contexts!

Like at a comic book store!
Clip: Big Bang Theory
Give students a RELEVANT CONTEXT
Clip: Big Bang Theory
Then they will use their new skills outside of your classroom!
10,000 K-12 students were surveyed and asked

What motivates you to do well in school?

The TOP 3 answers were...
cares about me.
pushes me to do things that I never thought that I could do!

is fun!
How does
Accountable Talk
look in a
(EQAO Survey 2013)
Full transcript