Tawk

FullSizeRenderAs the NYC skyline faded into the distance on the train yesterday I began to think about the topic/issue that I noticed transcended across all of my sessions at the TCRWP Reading Institute: TAWK (NYC accent…not typo).

If tawk was the issue…then I think the theme of the week was:  When time is provided to share thinking both listener and the talker grow, revise, deepen, and strengthen understanding.

TalkWhen thinking about providing students time to talk in our classrooms we need to remember that quality talk will likely need to be modeled and practiced.  This is where the Hierarchy of Talk (see picture) can help.  We can listen in on conversations, identify where the talk is falling, and teach to extend it to the next level up.

My interpretation section leader provided us with Talking to Think Sentence Starters during our book clubs.  As she listened in she would add a strip with a sentence starter in the center of the group and say “Try this…”  Here is her list of starters:

  • The thing I wonder about is…
  • What I’m not sure about is…
  • I have a question because…
  • Let me gather some relevant information…
  • I’m looking at this point…I see…This makes me think…
  • Another part that relates to this is…I see…
  • I’m starting to think that maybe…
  • The problem with this is…
  • On the other side…
  • As I’m thinking this over, I realize…
  • What I’m coming to discover about…
  • I’m starting to be persuaded that…
  • Now I see…
  • I take the position of…and my first reason is…

A favorite pass time I had during the week was collecting all the different ways I was invited to talk to those sitting around me.  Here the list I made:

  • Turn and Talk
  • Turn and Teach
  • Turn and Brainstorm
  • Turn and Process
  • Talk and Collaborate
  • Talk about…
  • Turn and Imagine

Pausing to talk helped me process and synthesize what I was learning during the sessions.  Listening to others helped me build, grow, revise, and strengthen my ideas.  As the school year begins I want to remember to teach and provide time for quality talk.

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