We have several Common Core Standards that require students to practice their Speaking and Listening Skills. If your students are like mine, they tend to get off track and talk about everything BUT what they are supposed to discuss. The reality is they just don’t know how to talk. Yes, I know, there are some that know and in fact, don’t always know how NOT to talk. But I’m talking about how to have a formal discussion regarding academics. So why not give them some conversation starters?
I have created the following conversational starter cards- but one designated for the listener and another designated for the speaker. In my classroom, I have these printed back to back (I cut them out first, then tape them so I know they align, and trim a bit), and then I laminate them. Of course, you could simply laminate them and give students one card. Then when their role changes, they simply switch. I have also placed my cards on craft sticks in the past. I cut the laminate a bit so I can insert between the two pieces, add a little glue, and voila! Then students have a mini-sign they can just flip.
Of course, you can also do it without the stick. I have provided them in a four colors- green, blue, pink, and orange. You can choose to print all the colors and have students partner up by colors, or you can print just one color over again so it’s uniform. (Click on the picture to download it through google docs).