This strategy permits all students to participate in discussion, rather than only a few students participating in a class-wide discussion. All students are able to process new learning while engaging in meaningful conversation with a classmate.
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How to Use
Pose a question or prompt for students to discuss and tell them how much time they will have. A one-to-two minute discussion is most productive.
Have students turn to a specific partner. Pair students using Eyeball Partners, Shoulder Partners, or Clock Partners (see variations below). Partner assignments should be set up beforehand so that students can quickly and easily pair up.
Set a timer for the allotted time, and have students begin discussing the assigned question or prompt. When time is up, ask partners to share out thoughts and ideas from their discussion.
When to Use
Use Turn and Talk at any time during a lesson to encourage accountable talk:
As a warm-up activity to discuss previous lesson or homework assignment
After five to seven minutes of oral or written input, to help student process what they have just heard or read
During class discussions as a way for students to discuss ideas before sharing them with the class
As a closing activity so that students can review what was learned in the lesson
As a clarification tool for a complex problem or new guiding question posed by the teacher
When students are seated at tables or in groups, “eyeball partners” are students who are facing in front of each other.
When students are seated at tables or in groups, “shoulder partners” are students who are seated next to each other. This may also be done when students are seated in rows.
Using a clock template, have students “make appointments” with four other classmates, one for 12 o’clock, one for 3 o’clock, one for 6 o’clock, and one for 9 o’clock. Partners may not be repeated. When ready to use partners, simply say “Work with your [choose one of the times] partner.” In Primary Grades PK-1, partners should be assigned by the teacher.