Saturday, July 7, 2012

Great video of "thinking partners"

I shared this on Twitter because I really like it as a model of effective use of student talk in the classroom:

I think that there would need to be changes for this to be effective with 7th graders.  Obviously, they might not be as fascinated in caterpillars as these kids are.  And you might not want to stop so often to model the thinking and talking.  But the physical modeling of appropriate behaviors is really effective and important, and would definitely help.  I think it's a nice way to create a mental picture of what they are supposed to be doing.  Too many students at this age just don't have an appropriate mental image of what effective collaboration and partnering is supposed to be like.  If they have an understanding of this, it is often misguided or misleading.  It always helps to solidify this - especially early in the school year - because it can be so useful later.  And I really think this is important for middle school.  7th graders are so peer-focused that any way to channel student talk in a positive direction is probably going to work.  (They are often much more engaged in what they say to each other than in what you say to them.)

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