Susan Jones, my recent favorite K-2 teacher. There are a lot of jewels on her YouTube.
I especially love the two clips about how to instigate positive conversation in the classroom. It resonates with my favorite idea: a classroom as a learner-centered community. These videos essentially give teacher a framework as to how we can start a positive and meaningful conversation with a big group of students. There are strategies she loves to use in her class. I listed only some of them I tried and worked for my students.
1. Set the norm: in K-2 usually the students come into the classroom with little knowledge or experiences participating in conversations that includes more than 20 participants. Sometimes, the older students may need reassurance or confirmation to speak properly in a big group. They need guidance and rules to know what is expected and how to support each other reaching that expectation. So a few clear standards is very helpful to start such a conversation. To introduce these norms/standards anchor charts a a great tool.
2. Question of the Day: Having an open question helps brainstorm ideas and form those ideas into words. It gives students a purpose and some content to talk about. In addition to questions from the text or the students daily lives, she also recommend card games teachers can use with the class or in pair work. Sanford Harmony also offers a set of questions in their FREE quick connection cards for early childhood and upper grades. Teachers can pick a question, let students pick their own question or distribute them for pair work. They offer pdf download version and also a mobile version in their App.
3. Sentence stems: clear sentence stems gives the students what is expected and some crutches to hand on when they start to develop their sentences. Depending on the content of focus, we may give the students sentence starters that help to express their agreement/disagreemen
4. Color coded notes : content related to sort their ideas or help develop their ideas. Categories may include connections, questions they have, favorite parts, and a wild card.
An enthusiastic ELT/CLIL teacher, passionate educator, researcher, teacher trainer, Apple Teacher. Seesaw ambassador and curriculum developer.