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How do you incorporate accountable talk in the K-2 classroom?

If you've been following me for awhile here (thank you!), you may remember my original post on accountable talk. It was from way back in 2014 when our school was just starting to embrace using accountable talk to push student discourse.

I created a quick reference to support a newer teacher, as well as myself, in the classroom. Shortly after this, visual posters began appearing on our walls with hand signals for “I agree/disagree.” We also provided the most accessible sentence starters appropriate for even our youngest students.

We were seeing good “results.” Student participation was increasing and teacher-talk was decreasing as our students found their voice. Our students were enthusiastic to “add on” and share the connections they were making.

As a facilitator of the conversation, I was providing positive feedback. I was also stepping back to make sure the talking ratio was tipping in my students' favor (at least, I was trying to!).

If you are working in the elementary classroom and seeing similar results, I challenge you to continue monitoring your “air time.” It's so hard not to jump in! Whenever I felt the urge to, I tried to focus in on this particular set of accountable talk sentence starters:

This was the area my students were least likely to access themselves at the beginning. You can probably see why…most of my first graders weren't really ready to push each others' thinking!

Yet, with modeling, encouragement, and opportunity, student discourse can be strengthened.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! Grab your free accountable talk handout HERE.

Please leave a comment and share how accountable talk looks and sounds like in your classroom. Hop over to my Positively Learning Facebook page to join the conversation!

Ready to incorporate more higher order thinking? Grab these FREE prompt cards!

Hi there.

I'm Jennifer!

I’m Jennifer and I was a special educator in the elementary school setting over the past decade. I entered the classroom every day dedicated to making learning inclusive AND engaging.

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