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Taking Turns Talking

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Todd Flory | Wheatland Elementary School | Wichita, KS
During class meetings, the teacher and students use a talking piece. Only the person holding the object can talk, which gives all students a chance to share and practice their listening skills.

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My name is Todd Flory, and I’m going to share one classroom management strategy that we use. Sometimes, we have class meeting, and in those meetings, we have a talking piece. Now this talking piece has thumb prints of all my students on this rock. It could be a rock, it could be any other object. And the thumb print symbolizes that each person brings their own creativity and individuality to the classroom, yet we all some together as one class. And the rules of the talking piece is, that whoever is holding the talking piece is the only one who can talk. Everyone one else is listening. So, we may ask questions, such as, “What is one thing you learned today?” Or, “What is one thing that you’re looking forward to this weekend?” Or if there are other issues that come up in the classroom then this is a great opportunity to talk about all that, as well. So, each student responds, holding the talking piece, and then passes it over to the next person. They respond, and so forth. So, this is a great opportunity for all students to feel heard and validated and have an equal opportunity to share.

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