All teachers had tried random talk partners for all lessons. All teachers used lollysticks to choose the pairs.
Children enjoyed learning with new children and didn’t worry if they were not friends with their new partner. The children are now better at mixing.
Parents have been in to talk to one teacher with both good and bad comments about the random talk partners.
One teacher found that children who are disruptive together have learnt, through the random pairing, the impact their behaviour has had on the rest of the class. Another teacher said that children who would normally be separated were eager to prove themselves when randomly paired.
Two teachers changed the room set up so that children could see the front more easily which changed the way in which the children focused, increasing their ability to concentrate.
Techers had ‘chatter chums’ for a week. One mute child had started to talk as a result. All children could speak, they listen more, are more attentive and everyone joins in.
All teachers had random talk partners. Relationships were stronger, children made new friends and there were fewer fall outs between children. Higher achievers were more respectful of everyone.
Partner review sheets in 2 schools, given at the end of each week ‘To be a better learner you could…’ and ‘You helped me by…’ showed that the positive comments were more constructive. Mixed genders started off not being with the person they wanted to be with, but they developed tolerance.
Question cards were used for children to put out to let the talk partner know they needed support. Children support each other well in their learning. Children rose to the expectations placed upon them even if they were with someone they did not want to be with.
Teachers had trialled learning partners changing weekly and random pairing. Equity sticks were used to draw the pairs.
There was a greater tolerance of differences and students were now more willing to share talents.
No hands up had increased student engagement and normalised risk taking.
One teacher had Kindergarten (Y1) children change every 2 weeks and used the mantra ‘KEF: knee knee, elbow elbow, finger finger’. Students are learning to work together and student dynamics have improved. Children enjoy knowing who their partner is and talking with them.
First grade (Y2) had ‘hips shoulders’ and elbow elbow knee knee’ to encourage facing each other. They had the comfort of having someone they know to talk to when a question was asked.