Peer-to-peer sharing is a commonly used practice in elementary classrooms. Many teachers utilize “think-pair-share” or “turn and talk” during core classes. But what if encouraging student-to-student conversations in a relaxed way could improve student learning overall? That’s exactly what 30 Second conversations aim to do. These morning meeting conversations can be a game-changer in your classroom. Read on to find out how 30-second conversations work in the elementary classroom.
What is a 30-second conversation in elementary school?
A 30-second conversation is as simple as it sounds. Students are paired together and engage in conversation for 30 seconds. When used as part of a morning meeting routine, teachers can provide students with a conversation prompt to guide the discussion.
Try to choose an open-ended conversation prompt, and not a prompt that requires a simple yes/no or choice answer. The ideas for conversation prompts can be as simple as “What did you do last night?” Here are some other ideas to start conversation between peers:
- What do you like to do after school?
- Tell me about a funny episode of your favorite TV show.
- What is something you want to learn how to do?
- What does your “best day ever” look like?
- Tell me about your friend/sibling and what you like to do together.
Take the conversations one step further and graph student answers on a pocket chart!
Then, while the ideas are fresh, allow students to journal about their answer to the prompt.
With guidance and practice, students become more familiar with conversation skills like asking questions, responding to questions, and engaging in active listening.
More Benefits of 30 Second Conversations:
- Exposure to oral language patterns, tones, and expression
- Practice for expressive and receptive language
- Exposure to vocabulary and grammar skills
- Practice taking turns and common conversational courtesy
- Allows students to express their opinions in a low-risk environment
- Fosters a classroom environment of mutual respect
- Builds social emotional skills, like empathy
This practice benefits all learners but may be especially helpful to English Language Learners. Additionally, fostering positive peer-to-peer interaction can boost students’ receptiveness to new material and increase their comprehension.
“In my class I call the discussions during morning meeting ’30-second conversations’. The idea was inspired by the LETRS training. I give them a topic and they turn and talk with another student practicing specific speaking & active listening skills. It allows all students to talk, gives my ELL students a chance to practice the language with their peers, and helps them build communication skills. After they take turns talking to each other a few are called on to share with the whole class.”
Looking for more ways to start the conversation? Our list of Morning Message Ideas can help! Also, be sure to check out our morning meeting task card and writing prompt set to make this routine quick and easy to implement in your classroom.
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