Turn and Talk 2:
In an earlier post, I talked about questions that lend themselves well to turn and talks. As the Special Education teacher in the room, I pay extra attention to the children on my caseload who frequently have issues with processing speed or organizational challenges. These students benefit from having a little extra time to gather their thoughts and verbally rehearse in their heads what they are going to say.
However, I would venture to say that most students benefit from being cued to take some time before beginning a conversation. For example, “Boys and girls, how is this character’s behavior different from how he would have acted at the beginning of the story? Turn and talk, but first, take fifteen seconds and think about what you are going to say.” Maybe you will find that fifteen seconds is not enough or is too much. Maybe you will find that certain questions need more or less time.
Public speaking has challenged me throughout my professional career and--full disclosure-- I am constantly rehearsing in my mind what to say and how to say it. Even as a second teacher in classrooms, I usually do a silent run-through of what I am going to say before I say it. Asking students to wait a few moments before talking will not take up much instructional minutes and the resulting conversations might be worth the time.