Lollysticks were used for random choosing. There were some initial problems with children not wanting to sit with each other. Children became excited, however, when they realised this was a whole school approach (‘My sister’s already got her partner!). Modelling good and bad talk partners was used to co-construct the talk partner success criteria.
Pictures of 2 children facing each other and facing the front were used for training. Threes were made when one child had SEN.
Teachers said it was easier to see who was engaged and there was a higher level of engagement – children have to be prepared to speak with no hands up. Talk partners gave a chance for all to speak so all had a voice. More ideas and vocabulary were shared. EAL were supported by language modelling from peers.
Talk partners gave a safe space to have a go and make mistakes which was less daunting than having to answer in front of the whole class without first discussing with a talk partner.
Improved thinking, speaking, listening.
Fractions class found it too much to change every week so trialled monthly changes.
Friday changing partners was very exciting and children looked forward to it.
Framing children’s answers was successful (e.g. I think….because….’. They could both rehearse their answer so that they felt confident to contribute.
This is now school-wide and routine.