Teaching our young learners speaking and listening skills is so important! As our classroom environments promote more of a collaborative learning space with critical thinking, we need to give our students the skills to thrive with communication. For the last few years, I have been very intentional about how I work on Speaking and Listening in the classroom. With four different programs that I use throughout the year, all of the Speaking and Listening standards are covered in a variety of different ways. I hope you can find a use for one (or all!) of these programs in your classroom too!
Teaching your students to share their ideas with one another can be overwhelming at first. But at the beginning of the year when I am teaching all of the other procedures in our classroom, I also teach these. We mostly share in one of three ways: Circle Chat, Triangle Talk and Square Share. Circle Chat is an easy way to pair your students off and have them share with each other. Triangle Talk involves 3 students who make a “triangle” with their knees as they listen and share. Square Share starts in groups of 2 but then you join another pair and share your partners ideas. This starts out hard for the littles but once they get it, it is amazing to watch. Head over to the “Literacy and Theme” page under “Speaking and Listening” and download “Speaking and Listening Anchor Charts” to have the resources along with detailed explanations.
When you are grouping your kiddos to share with each other, they need to have specific things to say. This helps lead the conversation and give them direction, especially at the beginning of the year. This is where “Accoutable Talk Toolkit” comes into play. It’s basically a group of sentence starters that helps the children share their ideas. I break my “talk” into 5 categories: Agree, Disagree, Confirm, Question and Extension. During Reader’s, Writer’s and Math Workshops I teach the kiddos these phrases and how to finish them. As my students start to use them on their own, I really get excited and point out those students. Within a few weeks, it’s the norm for my students to talk like this! Head over to the “Literacy and Theme” page under “Speaking and Listening” and download “Accountable Talk Toolkit” to have Accountable Talk phrases, posters and a reflection pages for each category. Also check out the Tips and Tricks page to get helpful ideas on how to use Accountable Talk in your classroom!
Show and Tell!
I know what you are thinking, but this is new and improved Show and Tell! Plus, there is a reason why kiddos love Show and Tell so much. They get to share about themselves and learn about others! Isn’t that exactly what we want them to do! My “Show and Tell” resources has 12 different themes along with parent letters that explain what we are working on and why it’s important. If you don’t already do Show ad Tell in your classroom, I hope you give it a try this year! It is worth it! My “Show and Tell” resource is also under “Speaking and Listening” on the “Literacy and Theme” page.
Often times I have visited classrooms where children are asked to present their ideas or a project at the end of a theme. I love this and I do many projects in my classroom too. But, unfortunately, a lot of times we don’t spend the energy teaching our students HOW to present to others. That’s where my S.T.A.R. Presentations comes into play. This resource includes a simple yet effective way to teach your students the right way to present their ideas in either a small or large group setting. My students will love the easy to remember acronym and posters too. You can find “STAR Presentations” under the “Math and Discovery” page under “Maker Space”.
Teaching our students how to successfully communicate with each other and be a good listener gives them confidence and positive self-esteem. I truly believe it is worth the time to teach these practices to even our youngest learners and give them the tools they need to succeed in today’s classrooms. I would love to hear about ways you incorporate Speaking and Listening Standards in your classroom too!