Margin Notes

Teaching Talk


Recently I had the opportunity to read Kara Pranikoff’s Teaching Talk: A Practical Guide to Fostering Student Conversation and Thinking which questions the traditional practices of classroom talk and asks teachers to re-think their role in that talk.

As teachers we know that conversation is a way students construct meaning and Pranikoff urges teachers to let students to become increasingly independent in their talk. She explains how the ultimate goal in larger-group conversations is for students to simply speak when they have something to say…like in the social talk at recess or at the end of the day when students are at their lockers. In these settings, students do not require an adult to mediate or monitor their discussion. This needs to be (more…)