directly to the learning." This is what we all want in our classrooms, right?
To read more about grand conversations, check out these sites:
- click here for grand conversations in the primary classroom
- click here for grand conversations in the junior classroom
The grade 7/8 teacher and myself (we are the only two junior / intermediate teachers in my small school) decided to take on grand conversations as our current collaborative inquiry project. We think we're already doing a decent job of providing this opportunity for our students, but with more attention and reflections, it can only get better. So, over the last two days my class has been building our learning goals and success criteria for grand conversations.
We started out defining what we thought a good conversation looked / sounded like. I did a placemat activity starting with two students working on the sheet. When the pair was finished, they joined with another pair, and shared and added to their placemat.
With the time up, I promised we'd turn that list into a set of success criteria in the next lesson (today's lesson).
And then, when I got home, one of my favourite sights was on the door ... the delivery sticker saying I had an Amazon package waiting for me at the post office. YIPPEE!!! So, I packed up the three kids (again), and headed off to retrieve my treasures.
I was so excited to get my newest teacher resource (you've perhaps remembered my book addiction???) - Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action, by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels (you can see the link at the bottom of my page). I had seen this book a few months ago (maybe in the summer), but after our PD session on grand conversations, I ordered it thinking it would be a perfect fit. And I didn't have to get far into the book to reinforce my perfect fit belief. Inside the front cover was a set of seven short points - essential characteristics for collaboration. I kept thinking - this is EXACTLY what we were discussing today. Each one of the points related back to our brainstorm session earlier that day.
The students copied this chart into their reading notebooks, and I gave each one of them a sticky note to reflect on which one of these success criteria they feel will be a challenge to them. LOVED their insights!
I'm so excited to keep going in this direction ... I have a feeling I'll have some GREAT things to share with you during this collaborative process.