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Increasing Discussion with Wordless Books

You can increase discussion with wordless books. Three strategies that work with many picture books and are guaranteed to decrease teacher talk and increase student engagement in classroom discussion and conversation about your read aloud with wordless picture books. Strategies that work well with primary and upper elementary students. Your Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students are guaranteed to talk more with these teaching strategies.

Picture this: You have the most well-thought out lesson plan for your read aloud complete with questions that are designed to get your students talking and sentence frames to help your students answer your discussion question. You read the book and then try to get start your discussion and…CRICKETS. It’s happened to me MANY times. […]

Wait Time in Student-Centered Discussion

Wait time in student-centered discussion is so important. Using wait time helps to decrease teacher talk and increase student talk and participation. What should you do for wait time? How much wait time should you give? Many great ideas to help you effectively use wait time as well as some things not to do during student discussions so you don't hijack a conversation and give students ownership of discussions whether you're in elementary or secondary.

How many times does this happen? You’re having a classroom discussion, your students are talking and then…crickets. You’re a great teacher, so you know that you need to provide adequate wait time, but that silence is deafening. All too often, I used to jump in and provide an idea or add a follow-up question to […]

Virtual Read Alouds with Google Slides

Check out these can't miss tips to get you started with virtual read alouds FREE and EASY! Distance learning has made us all turn to digital read alouds, and these ideas, lessons, lesson plans, and activities will make it easy for you. A free Google Slides resource with linked Google Docs comprehension journal response questions included to get you started! How to make virtual read alouds happen including the lesson, discussion questions and prompts. Free resource for Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students!

Have you tried to do virtual read alouds? Maybe you’re doing virtual read alouds because of distance learning due coronavirus pandemic/ Covid-19. Perhaps you’re in the classroom and you’re trying to simplify your read alouds. Regardless of your situation, Google Classroom, Google Slides, and Google Docs can be powerful tools to make your life easier […]

Virtual Classroom Discussions

Check out these ideas and tools for your virtual learning classroom discussion. Teaching ideas for distance learning to keep having rich classroom discussions. Free tools and tips for elementary students and teachers to implement in their elementary education classrooms for reading, math, special education and more while teaching distance learning.

Not all classrooms are face-to-face, but discussions are still very important. It helps students share their ideas, hear new ideas and learn how to respond respectfully to new ideas. Learning is constructive! Distance learning or virtual learning is becoming more and more prevalent at all levels of education, so providing opportunities for virtual classroom discussions […]

How to Use Google in Your Read Aloud Lesson Plans

Check out these ideas and tips on how to use the Google Suite of apps like Docs, Slides, and Forms to make easy read aloud lesson plans and work to become a paperless classroom. Simple and quick ideas plus a free resource to get you started!

Generally read alouds and technology have never really meshed. With the advent of distance learning or virtual learning as my district calls it, we’ve learned that they do indeed mesh. You read aloud a book. Maybe it’s an e-book that you might play on BookFlix or Youtube or the like. Or even more scarce in […]

Improving Student Discussion Pt. 4 Decreasing Teacher Talk

Looking for ways to improve your discussion? Discussions are for your students not for you. These strategies and tips for decreasing teacher talk will change how you and your students see classroom discussions.

As teachers, we talk a LOT more than we realize. During student discussions, though, we really need to let the students talk. In this post I’ll be focusing on some of the main reasons that teachers jump into discussions and ways for decreasing teacher talk. It may not be easy, but you can do it! […]

Improving Student Discussion Pt. 3 Increasing Quality

Looking for ways to improve your student discussion? Get started today by increasing discussion quality with 4 easy to use steps that will completely transform your classroom discussions including conversation supports, explicit teaching strategies, goal-setting and reflection. Included is a free conversation support that is sure to immediately help your students have quality discussions.

Welcome to Part 3 of my improving student discussion mini-series: Increasing Quality. If you’re at a point where your students are having discussions and everyone is talking, but the level of the conversation is really low-level. That is, maybe they’re not building off of each other’s ideas. Perhaps they’re repeating the same ideas that someone […]

Improving Student Discussion Pt. 2 Increasing Student Talk

Looking for ways to improve your student discussion? Get started today by increasing student talk with 4 easy to use steps that will completely transform your classroom discussions including planning for deep questions, using strategic partners and sentence stems or sentence frames and discussion strategies sure to get all of your students talking.

Last week I started my Improving Student Discussion Series with Part 1: Measuring Discussion. This was in response to all of the great feedback I received from my post on 7 strategies for getting quiet students to talk in discussions and 3 ways to get your students talking. This week I’m continuing with Part 2 […]

Improving Student Discussion Pt. 1 Measuring Student Discussion

Looking for ways to improve your student discussion? Get started today with measuring classroom discussion with 4 easy to use strategies both high tech and no tech that every teacher can start using tomorrow. Plus a free tech tool to get you started!

Over the next few weeks I am going to be writing a series of blog posts on improving student discussion. This is in response to all of the great feedback I received from my post on 7 strategies for getting quiet students to talk in discussions and 3 ways to get your students talking. I’ll […]

Ways To Get Your Quiet Students Talking

7 ways to get your quiet students talking in your classroom. Those who do the talking are the ones learning. These quick, easy strategies will get even your most timid students participating and talking in your classroom. These are great for ELL and bilingual classrooms as well!

Wait, you want your students talking in your classroom? Isn’t it a struggle enough to get that overly talkative kid to STOP talking? Let’s be honest, that kid that won’t stop talking is never going to completely stop talking, and you shouldn’t want them to. Student talk in the classroom is incredibly important for vocabulary […]