One teacher had role played with her TA how not to be a talk partner which had led to good talk partner success criteria. She had asked children to be A and B and had secretly asked the As to listen carefully to the Bs when they spoke to them, then reversed it so that the Bs ignored the As. They discussed how this had made them feel and the impact was improved relationships and good pupil generated success criteria. These children write a ‘thank you’ slip for their partner at the end of the week.
The randomiser from www.harmonyhollow.com had been very popular.
Lollysticks and ‘The Hat’ from harmony hollow.com were popular for the random choosing. It was felt that there are still children that nobody wants to work with and in one class children pull faces if they get an ‘undesirable’ partner (classroom culture ethos issues/SC).
Lower achievers have improved in confidence and the higher achievers enjoy ‘teaching’ others.
Brighton and Hove
All teachers had already set up talk partners, with random partners, lollysticks etc. and were very positive about its impact. Children are used to it and expect it.
Evaluating talk partner criteria was the next step, with some thought that the criteria link with the growth mindset ‘learning muscles’ nicely. Children’s comments on their partner: ‘She helped me have a go’, ‘She helped me with writing. I even used the word ‘eventually’, ‘She helped me think of ideas and made me feel good’.
Teachers had introduced random talk partners, with some complaints from parents. Harmony hollow’s Hat randomiser had been popular. Children were much more engaged with random partners.
Children are more focused on learning and there are fewer cliques in the classroom. Children are achieving more and aspiring to the best. Children learn from each other’s strengths.
Brighton & Hove
Suzanne Morgan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
Anne Vickers | email@example.com
Paul Wilson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Parry | email@example.com