Classful

In spite of our efforts as teachers to keep the noise level down in our classrooms, our students may continue to talk among themselves throughout the day. However, you may be surprised to learn that this can be extremely beneficial. Students can learn a lot from each other and it’s important to allow them the latitude to do so.

Let’s take a closer look at why this is the case:
  • Classroom chatter is a great way for students to grasp a deeper perspective of lessons and enhance their understanding.
  • Cross talk lets the pupils gain insight from their peers.
  • Chatting among themselves helps pupils build stronger bonds between each other.
  • • They are able to try out new vocabulary and concepts in a low-pressure situation.

Performance anxiety

Speaking in front of the entire class can be stressful for students, and they may feel more comfortable with trying out new words, phrases, and concepts among their peers. When teachers try to stifle all manner of association and conversation between students they may very well be doing them a grave disservice.

Mastering new skills and topics

We all know what it is like to feel unsure about our abilities or mastery of a new topic. When children are able to try out their new skills without the attention of the entire class and their teacher, they are more likely to venture outside of their comfort zone. As a teacher, it’s important to not shut down all communication between students but to manage it so that it doesn’t become a distraction.

Designated chat time

Consider having a set time for non-disruptive conversations between students. This will give them the chance to work on mastering new skills without having to feel self-conscious or embarrassed.

Try these effective tips:

We all are aware of the importance of reinforcing good communication skills as well as providing an atmosphere where students feel comfortable expressing themselves. It is also key for students to form lasting bonds with their fellow pupils and learn how to hone in on their interpersonal skills. All of these goals can be achieved through associations that take place outside of the confines of classroom interactions.

1. Encourage students to stretch their vocabulary and speaking skills

Create a module that focuses on language skills and encourages students to stretch their limits. Create moments within the regular curriculum where students can collaborate in small groups or one-on-one.

2. Probe students with open-ended questions

Try to avoid closed-ended or yes-or-no questions as much as possible. Encourage students to give their reasoning when answering a question. Create a safe space that allows students to try new things without having to worry about being mocked or made fun of.

3. Always look for new ways to stretch your students’ interactions and participation

Students do really love to talk once they get going, and using a recent project or class module as a starting point can make the conversation develop in exciting ways. Don’t try to make the conversation revolve around one student, encourage the entire class to join in with their respectful input.

4. Don’t be afraid to go deeper

When your class becomes excited about a topic, feel free to expand beyond what is written in your lesson plan. The more a student understands a topic or subject matter, the more confident they will feel expressing their views about it. Don’t shortchange your class by providing superficial exposure to a large variety of topics without going deep on at least a few of them.

Summary

Always remember that students may not be as confident as they let on. Encourage them to challenge themselves and step outside of their comfort zones. Communication with their fellow students is a fantastic way to achieve a number of important goals. When you allow students to associate with one another you may be surprised by how much they encourage each other to continue improving and mastering new skills!