Saturday, May 4, 2013

Smith / Willett             2nd Grade
Thinking Routine:   Chalk-Talk
Connect:  CHALK TALK involves looking at the topic or question written on the chart paper and involves kids in the thinking questions below:
  - What ideas come to mind when you consider this idea, question, or problem?
   -What connections can you make to others’ responses?
   -What questions arise as you think about the ideas and consider the responses and comments of others?
Often, as teachers we instruct but rarely ask the kids why they think we should learn the material being presented.  This routine offers up a safe environment for kids to express their thoughts.
The purpose of this routine is to ask students to think about ideas, questions, or problems by silently responding in writing both to the prompt and to the thoughts of others.  All students can participate in the open-ended and exploratory nature of the routine.

What I did:  I used this routine as a quick activity to assess students prior knowledge about communities before we began our Social Studies unit on communities.   I created 6 blank posters on chart paper with the following questions filled in a cloud in the middle of the paper:  What are your thoughts, ideas, questions or wonderings about ________?   I filled in the blank with communities, how communities change over time, how people behave in communities, how people use resources in communities, different types of communities and what you would like to have in your community.   Before the activity began, I read each chart question to the class.  Then I placed one poster at each table and gave students the instructions.  I put them in groups of 3 or 4 according to their home table.   Students that sat a table 1 started at table 1 and so on.  I explained that each group would get 3 minutes to write their thoughts about the question or another entry.   At the first stop each student chose a color marker that they kept with them throughout the activity.  There was no talking and I announced when it was time to switch to the next table.   They were excited to get started.   It took about 25 minutes to complete the circuit.  Next I posted the charts on the board and we came together on the rug to do a quick gallery walk and discussed the postings.  I let the students know that some of their questions would be answered as we completed our study and that their thoughts were recorded for us to revisit after the unit to see how our thoughts, ideas, questions or wonderings had changed. 

Extend:    I’ve used this routine several times over the past couple of years.   Initially, I used it as a pre and post assessment for our earth materials and communities units.   This year I decided to have the students do the activity at the beginning of the school year so they could record their thoughts about and knowledge about math.  Then at the end of the year we will do the activity again and compare the before 2nd grade and after 2nd grade to help them visualize how much they have learned this year.   I think it will be eye-opening for them and for me.

Challenge:  The challenge is to encourage students to take the time to write thoughtful entries that will show and record their reflective thinking.

1 comment:

  1. I'm impressed by how these young students can respond to the chalk talk questions. I love this routine as it can be used for many purposes such as activating background knowledge, connecting the questions to text, and as an anchor for rich discussion. I like to follow up the silent chalk talk with groups meeting back at the charts and orally discussing what they see. It adds another level to the thinking, and offers an opportunity to question the responses. I love that you are keeping the original charts and comparing them to the responses at the end of the year. This might lead into I used to think, now I think routine.