On our first day back at school, from our Spring break, there were many stories, adventures, experiences and sightings to be shared.
During our morning meeting, we decided to talk and listen. Students found a partner and had ten minutes to talk- talk about the Spring break. They alternated, one talks the other listens and vice versa.
Then, they had to choose a different partner and share. The third partner was the last and this seemed to go on forever. The class was filled with a wave of sounds, loud voices, excited and inquisitive voices. The students asked each other questions whilst listening. This was a frenzied activity. Nobody was quiet, even the students with little English or no English were not left out, they were encouraged to sketch and label as their partner did the same for them. I realized that images and illustrations have power if you allow them to. They have clear voices if the chance is given to them.
With that in mind, we had to make our words visible, so students were encouraged to sketch-note either their own stories or that of their friends. The voices still ringing in my ears, my students were filled with pride and could not wait to begin.
That is when I said to my teaching partner,
“Everybody enjoys talking about themselves and their experiences.”
“We have to allow students to talk more and make their experiences visible.”