I am going to shock a few teachers out there when I tell them that our innovative model wants students to be engaged and talking in class 80% of the time which means only 20% is left for the teacher. Think about it, 20%! While we may never reach the nirvana of 80-20, it should give us pause as to how much we dominate the discussion in class. Direct instruction is necessary, but how many opportunities are missed or how many behavior problems occur because students sit passively listening?
Facilitating student talk is a skill that must be honed. Start small and work your way to the magic numbers. We want each student to be actively involved in class so that their confidence in articulation increases. Students need to be good at both speaking and listening. Both teacher and students are accountable:
How do we know that student talk is taking place? What is the evidence? Ask:
ASK THREE BEFORE ME (Questioning, Discussion)
Description: This is a student-centered procedure focusing on student self-reliance.
Application: Use this procedure as a guiding doctrine in the classroom.
Process: Teach students that at certain times when they are working on an assignment and have a question, they must ask each other rather than asking the teacher first.
Alison Thetford, M.Ed