writing workshop

A Tool for Talking During the Workshop

Over the weekend I was fortunate to observe top educators in the field through The Educator Collaborative, an organization founded by Chris Lehman. There were all kinds of topics and educators participating in this event. I was inspired and able to do professional development, via video feed, from my couch. One of the videos I watched was Kathy Collins.

kathy collins photo

She was talking about reading and using thinking/speaking bubbles to enhance students’ understanding of pictures.

Examples of questions she would pose to students were:

What might the character be thinking on this page?

If they were speaking, what would they say?

I began to think this tool might be great during writing workshop as well, especially during our “talking” time that occurs in the planning process of our workshop. I made little visual tools, much like hers to use in the workshop immediately! I wanted to try out this idea. I gave each student a popsicle stick with their thinking and speaking bubble. I asked students to hold the thinking bubble up to their head while they were formulating their ideas and deciding on a story for the day. I then had students hold the talking bubble up when it was their turn to talk with their partners about their ideas. This little tool helped students organize their thinking and talking time. It gave them a visual when taking turns and it was fun! Here is the document I used when making the tool.

Speaking and Thinking Bubble Visuals

There were many great take-aways during this online event. If you would like to see Kathy’s video or more videos from The Educator Collaborative Community, click here!

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