Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chalk Talk/ Gentlehands (M.E. Kerr)

It was a while back when I first told you about Chalk Talk, a great technique I picked up from the Eastern Virginia Writing Project.  Students love it, and it's the main reason I tried to make sure that I had massive amounts of white board space in my new classroom.   

Students in my advanced language arts class read Gentlehands on their own, 
and this is how we held our book discussion silence.

It started with me writing "Grandpa Trenker is..." on the center of the board 
and making lots of markers available for students who were ready to write.

As you can tell, it can be difficult to follow in places.  
Every now and then, you will need to ask that all students have a seat 
and take a moment to examine the board.  
Otherwise, the clusters of children at the board will obscure the responses for others to see.   

That is, unless you have a class of 10 kids.   
Oh, you do?
Aren't you lucky?!

I'm always surprised at how much some kids love Grandpa Trenker. 
He's on my list of literary characters I'd like to punch in the throat.

If the discussion is not automatically getting the depth of thought you were looking for, 
you can also write questions periodically to spark critical analysis.   
With advanced readers, usually the discussion runs itself, 
aside from minor crowd control on your part.

Here's 2/3 of the entire discussion in color.
Enjoy the silence!

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