Reducing teacher talk

Reducing teacher talk and allowing more time in lessons for students to be active participants in their learning, is an important aspect of developing outstanding teaching and learning.

In order to begin to build up a bank of strategies that can be used to develop this aspect of teaching, I asked twitter.  As always it yielded some great results.

I have grouped them under 3 main learning ‘phases’,

Learning Input

  1. Have an engaging picture on the screen with a question for students to discuss as they enter the room.
  2. Show students the learning objectives and get them to come up with and share the success criteria.
  3. Students recap what they learnt last lesson – and what bits they got stuck on.  Other students are then invited to help them with the ‘stuck’ bits.
  4. Students begin the lesson by talking about any prior knowledge regarding the learning objectives.
  5. Flipped learning – set the learning task the lesson before and get students to present the learning at the start of the lesson.  Different groups can focus on different      aspects.

Learning development

  1. If a student asks a question, instead of answering it yourself, ask another student.
  2. If a student makes a great contribution to a class discussion, don’t be tempted to add      to it yourself, ask another student to.
  3. Student groups present their work, which is then critiqued by the rest of the class.  Give direction to the critique though e.g. each group focuses on a different aspect of the presentation and all students have to give feedback that is kind, specific and helpful.
  4. Hidden resource – working in pairs/small groups, one student has a picture that is relevant to the learning, that they do not share with the other students.  The other students then have to question  them to find out what it is.
  5. Snowballing – pose a question, then give students thinking time (individually) to come up with an answer.  Discuss their answers in pairs and come up with an agreed answer.  Then in fours – then each four shares with the class.
  6. Phone a friend  – if students get stuck they can ‘phone a friend’ – literally by mimicking  a phone with their hand, and a ringtone!  Other students can ‘answer’ (again mimicking a phone with their hand) and offer support with their question.
  7. Use visual symbols for anchors. 1 stick man = work alone, 2 = pairs, 3 = group, house = HW, open book = read quietly, pen=writing.
  8. Give yourself a ration – say 10 mins in a lesson. Let one student time  and call stop when time is up. Even q&a sessions count.
  9. Write a series of questions on post its. Students write their name and  answer on it and stick on the board.   Students then look at all of the post its and discuss the answers.
  10. Think, pair, share – pose questions, give students thinking time to answer the questions, discuss it in a pair and then share their agreed  answer.
  11. Diamond 9 – students have to discuss the relative importance of 9 statements (on card) and then agree their ranking by placing them in a diamond shape (1,2,3,2,1).
  12. The perfect answer – have a number of exam questions around the room on A3 paper.  Groups of students then answer a question each.  They then rotate, look at the previous answer and improve it.  They keep doing this until all groups have contributed to all questions and you end up with…..the perfect answer!

Learning review

  1. Student led plenary – ask a student/ group of students to come up to the board to      discuss the learning.
  2. Ask students to plan the learning for the next lesson, based on what they have      learned/ struggled with that lesson.
  3. The panel presents – show students a series of powerpoint slides with pictures and no writing, that relates to the learning in the lesson.  In groups, students then have to use the slides to give a presentation on what they have learnt.
  4. Construct  a class mind map – everyone has to contribute and discuss one ‘link’.

The document ‘Teaching Without Talking’ by Geoff Petty is also a great resource and worth looking at.

With thanks to the following twitter teachers:

@hall_rhall, @FunkyPedagogy, @LA_McDermott, @RTDurant, @ktmaxx, @TeachArtDesign, @Croix2000

Follow the conversation with #talkless

Please comment below with anymore ideas to add.

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One Response to Reducing teacher talk

  1. Pingback: The Reading List: posts and links that have interesetd and helped us this week | prawnseyeblog

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