Developing Classroom Talk…

After the lecture on classroom talk and looking the reading by Pollard (chapter 12) I have a much better understanding on the importance of classroom talk and how effective it can be in the classroom if used properly, from the pupils involved but also teacher dialect.  The power of talk helps the brain to build connections and build its capabilities (Perkins 2012). Within the general teaching council Scotland, it highlights as one of its main criteria’s that teachers should be able to communicate effectively and interact productively with learners whether individually or collectively. Teachers use talk for many purposes, this includes to: Instruct; Check understanding; Maintain control; Develop learning and help pupils see learning trajectory. Pupils need to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding to promote discussion and thinking, further developing their range of question types, and developing un understanding of people will have different opinions and views in which they need to learn to respect and value. When asking questions, it is important to give pupils appropriate time to answer, and asking questions to which there may be more than one answer. It is important to engage with the answers given, particularly the wrong answers as it can help generate as to why a pupil may be thinking something giving the teacher an insight on where progression and future goals may go. Exploratory talk is to explore ideas and probe others thinking. When planning for opportunities to talk within the classroom it is important to have a clear learning objective in mind, developing a clear plan of the context to be covered, concepts to be developed and issues to be explored. Materials should also be prepared, such as websites, questions or dvd’s as an example. Its important to set ground rules within the setting and deciding on how to evaluate and assess the questions and answers that are given. Questioning is a vital part of teaching and is paramount for both pupil and teacher as there can be low order questions and high order questions. Questioning can give an informal way to assess how a child is getting on, and gives immediate feedback on pupil’s thinking and where progression strategies may lead. (Pollard) —> Communication can be verbal and non verbal as body language and facial expressions can contradict on what is being communicated verbally. Tone, pitch, and volume are all ways we project our voice and are part of the communication process. Language skills are fundamental to communication, as we need to think about what we are going to say successfully to get information across to someone else, but in turn listening to their point of view and information understanding how to process it and understand what they are trying to communicate to us and how to respond to it both verbally and non verbally.

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