January 8, 2013

Accountable Talk

Right before Winter Break I created this Anchor Chart to remind the kiddos about some of the Accountable Talk phrases we have discussed.  Accountable Talk essentially means actively participating in academic conversation.  In other words, the kiddos take turns speaking, provide proof for their opinions, add to previous comments, and disagree appropriately.  This type of academically-based conversation encourages the kiddos to think before they speak and really listen to each other.

I found this video on TeachingChannel.org which describes how one teacher introduced the concept of providing credit to the speaker, an important component of Accountable Talk. I used this idea when we began doing "Turn & Talk" conversations on the carpet.  Slowly I added in new phrases such as "I agree with ____, because..."  At this point in the year, my kiddos have gotten pretty fluent at Accountable Talk in the Whole Group.

As we come back from Break, I'm really encouraging the kiddos to utilize Accountable Talk when they meet with their reading partners.  Similar to Writing Partners (see post), I assign Reading Partners based on reading level.  It's important that the kiddos read and discuss books with peers who are reading books at the same level.  Over the next week, I will re-evaluate the kiddos partnerships based on my most recent assessments.  While most of the partnerships will stay the same, I do have some kiddos who have changed level dramatically and need a different partner.

I typically have the kiddos meet with their reading partners 3-4 times per week after Independent Reading during Readers' Workshop.  During partner reading time, the kiddos sit "hip-to-hip" (side by side) and put one book between them.  They take turns choosing the book to share.  Sometimes they take turns reading each page, although they also enjoy "echo reading" (repeating each line) and "choral reading" (reading together).  As they read, I encourage them to share observations, questions, and predictions.  This where our Accountable Talk Anchor Chart will come in handy. I hope to begin hearing the kiddos using these phrases independently with their partners to hold each other accountable.