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The Fine Art of a Conversation!

April 15, 2013

I have been observing my students as they talk to one another and it reminds my of parallel play.  When 2 children are playing  beside each other but they are both doing their own activity, not really interacting.  My students were talking together but no one was responding.  Each would share what they wanted, usually at the same time and neither one went away with a good idea of what each one was talking about. I was utterly baffled!  They didn’t even seem to notice.

So I came up with this activity that they had to listen to each other, carefully.  When my students arrived to school, instead of goofing around and sharing their holiday, I asked each to have a sit and fill in the following Top Ten Super Cool Things I Did Over the Holiday sheet.  It was amazing how quiet it became as they thought about their week off.

Now for the game.  The first person finished, was the first to share their Top Ten!  Everyone else needed to listen.  Then they drew a Popsicle stick to determine who had to tell one thing that they had shared.  Once everyone heard the goal, they got serious!  They put their papers down and looked at the person speaking.  They saw that paying attention mattered and looking at the speaker made it easier to tie the words to the person. I was pleasantly surprised to see all of them enjoying the game.

Next time we are going to work on having eye contact with who they are talking to and responding with comments or questions for the other person.  Being comfortable speaking to others and helping them feel comfortable is a skill they will use for the rest of their lives.

Top Ten Things I Did Over the School Break! (191.9 KiB)

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