If it’s the one thing I’d really like to improve this year, it would be me speaking less- a lot less, and my students speaking up a lot more. However, teaching students with such diverse backgrounds, especially with English being their second and even third language, I know that is no easy task.
Children of all ages have so much to say, but can’t say it for a number of reasons:
- They are afraid of being ridiculed for lack of accuracy in the way their articulate their thoughts.
- They think they may be wrong altogether and feel like the safest thing to do is stay quiet.
- They feel like they don’t have a voice- that their say is irrelevant.
Whereas numbers 2 and 3 are the product of teacher attitude, number 1 can definitely be improved upon by a little nudging.
This idea came to me courtesy an email subscription to Pobble. It was about alternatives to the teacher shouting in class for the kids to pipe down. One of these methods mentioned ‘Classroom Tokens’. This planted a seed in my mind for the development of this resource. After having read Alex Quigley’s amazingly enlightening ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’, I realised how we teachers don’t quite understand just how much kids struggle with putting words together, making sense out of them, and making them work to fit their purpose. (Highly recommend all teachers to read it.)
There are three tokens in this resource. Each students gets a set. There is one on students wanting to ask a question, another on them wanting to add on to the discussion and one more to use when they disagree with something. Each has a some stems to help them out and develop confidence.
You can have you own unique rules on how to use them. I think I’d like my students to use at least two of them in our class discussions.
So here it is to download complete free of cost:
I hope that these are useful for you and that you can use them to create deeper and more meaningful classroom discussions to further both the students’ communication as well as critical thinking skills.