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Organising talk partners

Discussion in 'Primary' started by elizabeth1972, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. It's because I have a whole key stage, and potentially over 40 children for September. It means we can use a 0.5 teacher, but for me it just makes things more complicated, not less. It means that we have to stick to a rigid timetable, I seem to lose some of my ability to make strong cross-curricular links because I'm aware there is a large group of pupils not getting their history through the literacy, or vice versa. In an ideal world, I'd rather just keep everyone together and have another TA, but ho hum!
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I think I was most worried about pupils having more than one talk partner for different times of the day, and thenhaving to sit with that partner so interfering with my ability groupings. The advice so far seems to be go with 2 different set of talk partners - core and foundation, and use talk partners mainly for carpet work. Makes sense!
    I agree with the poster who recommended training pupils to turn to face each other on the carpet, and modelling / practising talk partner skills. I intend to cover a lot of that in the first few days back. I'm also going to use an idea a friend of mine uses where children fill in a little peer-assessment sheet when they change talk partners. Hopefully, this will help them to value it and see using a talk partner as a real learning skill rather than the chance for a good natter!

  2. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Hi, my class have the same talk partner all day every day for each subject and then I change it around half termly. I try to pair up pupils according to need, and try to make sure that the ones who do all the thinking and talking are with people who won't just listen to their answer and copy it. I also, have been known to pair up children who would rather not be together on the odd occasion, and if they moan, I tell them that in life you have to learn to work with people you'd rather not work with and that it's a good life skill. Usually by the end, they atleast get on with their partner or are able to talk to them civilly. That said, I wouldn't pair up kids who hate each other, but think it's important for the social aspect as well as the learning.
  3. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Hi , I have the same as you, all KS2 for foundation subjects , yrs 5/6 only for core . I have 2 sets of learning partners - 2 tins, with 2 sets of lolly sticks. The kids are really great at remembering their morning and afternoon partners (though we do have a list on the wall recorded by a scribe - child- when I pull the sticks out once a fortnight).
    I would say , don't give up on your cross curricular links. I work closely with my part time colleague and we both try to make the core work cross curricular. You probably have to differentiate like mad, as I do, with that wide an age range , so I don't see it as a problem that they might have covered different parts of the History topic in their English lessons. We often, in fact, spend some time sharing what we've done between the 2 groups.
  4. I have pictures of famous duos. For example Harry Potter and Voldermort. There are loads when you sit down and think of some. One child gives the rest of the children a picture and the children have to find their partner. Bit of a mess around the first few times you do it but once the children are used to it then it works well. The children get different partners nearly every lesson and talk to children that they don't normally talk to.
  5. Thanks for that, Ladykaza. I was worried about morning/afternoon partnerships working, and children remembering which group they are in for each, but you've given me faith that it will work.
    I am going to try very hard to work closely with my colleague, to ensure cross-curricular links. We'll see what happens!


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