It is important to establish routines for talking to create opportunities for all students to engage in quality talk. What different groupings are you using in your classroom?

We have a 'Talking groups' poster on our website, which has eight different groupings that you can teach your students so that organising groups in the classroom is quick and easy. We recommend enlarging our 'Talking groups' poster to A3 and then cutting them into cards so you can introduce them slowly. For more information about the different groupings, refer to the document called 'Talking groups - more information' and The Oral Language Book.


Here are some other examples of how you can set up talking groups in your class:

Talking partners
Pausing regularly in a lesson to engage students in 'Think, pair, share' benefits both students and the teacher. We suggest setting up a 'Talking partners' display to make 'Think, pair, share' quick and easy. It also gives the teacher the option to pair students strategically. Refer to PM37 from The Oral Language Book for the name tags template used in the example.

Think, pair, share, record

This is another variation of the 'Think, pair, share' idea. In 2016, Judith Ashley from St Paul’s School in Nelson visited the Suter Art Gallery. Rather than asking her students to write a recount of the trip, she tried ‘Think, pair, record’ using the recording sheet Four square notes (PM19 in The Oral Language Book). The students recorded their ideas first, then paired up with three different students to collect more ideas. At the end of the session, they came back together and randomly selected three students to share all the ideas they had collected. Judith reported that the children were focused and shared lots of different ideas that they wouldn’t have thought of if they had worked alone.

Birthday buddies

Jenna Krinas from Parkside School in Adelaide came up with the idea of setting up brthday buddies. She says, 'Birthday buddies are responsible for organising the singing of happy birthday with the class, as well as sharing a few nice comments about their birthday buddy. They also make a card and get it signed by peers.' Jenna used PM37 from The Oral Language Book for the name tags.


 Check out The Oral Language Book for more ideas on organising talk in the classroom.


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