Teachers were mostly changing talk partners every Monday. At the start there were negative feelings about this but now children are excited to share their ideas with new people.
Talk partner evaluations were linked to learning muscles and helped children to think of the good things they have done.
Some children are sitting in rows and in mixed ability. There was some discussion about how to get over friendship issues.
In one school children had come up with the talk partner criteria which had made them feel responsible for making these work. Changing partners weekly or fortnightly started the week in a positive and exciting way and has enabled children to make new friends. This has led to a reduction in conflicts and enabled troubled children to become more involved.
One teacher reported that an elective mute was now happily able to speak.
One school had extended changing partners to changing groups or talk teams. It was encouraged in one school for pairs to magpie ideas from other pairs if they had no ideas.
Peter Hardwick | firstname.lastname@example.org