Smith / Willett 2nd GradeThinking 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.
Challenge: The challenge is to encourage students to take the time to write thoughtful entries that will show and record their reflective thinking.