Speaking skills are very important. Teaching students valuable and relevant speaking and listening skills are crucial for their future success. Once students leave our classrooms they will need to be able to carefully articulate their thoughts and opinions to various audiences.
Read the curated Twitter chat below on how English teachers can help foster these skills in their classrooms.
Q1: In what ways do students practice their speaking skills in your classroom?
- Student talk in small groups daily and during class discussions. Sometimes we have formal oral presentations
- I find many out of the box ideas on Pinterest. It is a fabulous source for quick ideas on just about any topic
- Not as many formal speeches as I used to; more focus on discussions as per CCSS skills. But students benefit from public speaking
- 7th grade students give book talks on their independent reading choices. As part of the ceremony of 12 from the Giver, each student gives a speech announcing another student’s assignment job
- We have group, partner, class discussions, some formal presentations. Tomorrow we are trying Philosophical Chairs. We also have annual speech competitions in our school, both English & French. Grade 8s present a bilingual speech
- Small group discussions are an incredible way to spark student conversation! Especially leading into big classroom discussion!
- How do they not? Middle school is all about dialogue, collaboration, both formal and informal. Screencastify is a new fun tool
- I love Socratic Seminars! Literature Circles are another great way to get students discussing a text in a smaller setting
- Have you used the read/write add on? It allows students to practice fluency by reading aloud their Google Doc
- Today we had small group “airplane” talks: taxiing for Level 1 questions, flying stage = deepest discussion, landing = recap
- Not much experience with speaking – just Modern Woodman contest
Q2: How do you assess students during speaking activities? (Share rubrics, checklists, etc.)
- I assess students with a variation of this rubric. Consistency helps them achieve mastery. https://twitter.com/2peasandadog/status/851950744672415744/photo/1
- I pass this out day 1 & require it in hand for EVERY disc. Top is dense question model. Bottom is accountable talk https://twitter.com/kaiegaffigan/status/851956798886207489/photo/1
- Checking off LTs broken down from our big skills. Students also reflect on how they performed on the LTs immediately after
- @erik_palmer‘s PVLEGS rubrics & checklists
Q3: How do you encourage reluctant speakers?
- Baby steps?
- Sometimes I use popsicle sticks with names on them to encourage talking. I also give them a heads up that I will call on them
- I like the heads up! Better than putting already nervous kids on the spot
- Lots of little risk-free practice–no grade attached. And building a comfortable, relaxed environment
- Whatever it takes. I stand with them if it’s whole group, of have them come in at lunch for extreme cases
- A lot of small group conversations and discussions prior to large group presentations seems to help!
- My reluctant speakers like Fish Bowl & Socratic seminars. Smaller audience, more time to share their ideas, and it’s prepared
- I’ve also had students present in pairs, record their presentation, or choose small groups to present in some circumstances
Q4: What are your favorite speaking and listening assignments?
- Students like to discuss Current Events and Hot Topics. I also LOVE book clubs where students can talk to each other
- Well structured Socratic Seminars can be great http://www.theliterarymaven.com/2016/03/SocraticSeminars.html
- I love to have students use task cards to create improv skits based on the content of the text.
- Poetry slam has been a big hit, book talks, current events, Socratic seminars, “TED” talks, drama re-enactments
- Students really get into debates, although I find I usually have a few who dominate. I like combining live disc. with online chat
- Here’s a #hyperdocs I made for a passion project that ends in an oral presentation https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_9AF4aWakJIgHNIQTcJ3sWzdARGHgFXSyp_QC1mIKtI/view
Q5: Share a resource for teaching speaking skills (book, article, blog post, etc.)
- http://www.davestuartjr.com/ has great posts and ideas
- Love your Current Events/Hot Topics/Book talks, @2peasandadog, @literarymaven‘s Socratic seminars, @erik_palmer‘s books
- Have you tried Prezi? http://jenniferwolfe.net/2016/01/something-cool-from-my-classroom-presenting-with-prezi.html
- I like Article of the Week for discussion topics (and reading practice)
- Check out this oral presentations assignment bundle
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