Element 3 - Conversation

Why is this important?

Content focused conversation accomplishes a number of goals at once:

  • Students get a chance to process content, practice for writing or presentation, get feedback

  • Students get a chance to get better at speaking and listening,  a key 21st century skill and part of the ELA standards

  • Students are more engaged when they are asked to process, learn and discuss learning and ideas with others

  • The ability to have learning-focused conversations determines the quality of a classroom learning community where students expect to interact around their learning.

SO -- learn better, engage more, develop interaction skills. Easy to see why this is one of the Ten Elements of Effective Instruction

Consider one way/one time in the past week that you asked peers to talk to one another.

Explore a number of Total Participation Techniques to help your students engage in constructive peer-to-peer interaction/discussion while learning content.

You might want to start here:

A Total Participation Techniques Professional Learning Activity (to grow your practice) by Himmele and Himmele

See it in action: