“Dialogue is one of the best vehicles for learning how to think, how to be reasonable, how to make moral decisions, and how to understand another person’s point of view. It is supremely flexible, instructional, collaborative, and rigorous. At its very best, dialogue is one of the best ways for participants to learn good habits of thinking.” – James Nottingham in Challenging Learning Through Dialogue
Classroom talk is one of the most powerful tools teachers use every day. It plays a role in formative assessment, inquiry, critical thinking, collaboration, student agency, and relationships. Dialogue not only reveals understanding but also builds important skills. But simply having conversations isn’t helpful if those conversations don’t have an end goal in sight. What does it look like for teachers to lead meaningful classroom talk?
We decided to take a quick poll of some of our leading literacy authors to hear their thoughts on the role of classroom talk—and tips for doing it more effectively. Take a look at the quotes below and you’ll see several themes:
- The importance of questions
- Independent thinking
- Student ownership
- Trust and respect
Reflect on the advice below and use this free poster as inspiration for more meaningful conversations in your classroom today!