One of our favorite strategies to deepen student learning is Accountable Talk, or sometimes it’s referred to as “student talk.” Accountable Talk is terrific because it can be included in literally any classroom from early elementary reading to middle school math to high school science. Let’s begin by explaining that Accountable Talk is talk that is meaningful, respectful and beneficial to both speaker and listener. In a classroom, students share ideas and then build on or refine each other’s ideas. Here at Evolved Educator, we believe that Accountable Talk can bring all kinds of good for students and teachers. The best part about Accountable Talk is that multiple research shows it’s a highly effective path for students to develop thinking and learn (which is the exact business of education).
Every Student Participates
Accountable Talk is structured so that each child is expected to engage in the conversation. This means that, through conversation, the students are actively developing, strengthening, revising, and extending ideas in an authentic way that is meaningful to them.
Fosters Speaking and Listening
Whether it has adopted Common Core or not, every state includes listening and speaking standards. Accountable Talk requires students to articulate their own ideas as well as listen to others communicate thoughts.
Establishes a Rigorous Learning Environment
The earlier Accountable Talk is practiced the better. When even the youngest students form and share their ideas, they are laying the building blocks to becoming independent thinkers and reflective responders.
Because It’s Social
People are social beings. Accountable Talk in the classroom is the perfect way to harness the need to be social while students build skills to participate in respectful discourse.
Students need time to practice and strengthen thinking and communication skills, while teachers apply scaffolding strategies to meet students where they are and prompt them to the next level. Vygotsky’s concept of instructional oral scaffolds helped educators that what students can do today with support from the teacher, they will be able to do independently tomorrow.
Every Child Can Feel Successful
When well-planned, Accountable Talk allows students to activate prior knowledge, which means everyone has something to contribute to the conversation. As the conversation unfolds, students develop new ideas for the academic topic.
Collaboration. Collaboration. Collaboration.
Student collaboration provides an authentic path for students to take ownership of and invest in their own learning.
Research tells us that when students are involved in their own learning students become more connected because they have worked together to form and communicate ideas with each other.
We get it. Teaching is hard work, and we believe all teachers are giving their best every day. We know you’re reading this article because you are always looking for ways to plan the best learning experiences with your students in mind. As teachers, it’s up to us to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make the learning stick. Evolved Educator is here to support you.
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