Last week I was introduced to the idea of “chalk talk” from a fabulous co-worker of mine. What is chalk talk? Chalk talk is a silent way to generate ideas, solve a problem, or reflect on your learning. Student’s remain silent and they can comment on other student’s writing generate their own ideas, or contribute to the class with a marker or a piece of chalk. You can even make it digital with a wallwisher.
My First Chalk Talk
After my class had a successful socratic seminar, I decided to put a prompt on the board (see image below) and I gave white board markers to my students. They had to go up to the board and write a statement, a reflection, a comment, or a question. When a student was done writing they gave their marker to another student who did not reflect on the board. By the end of class we had a semi-organized interesting collection related to essencial question about political culture and politicians My students liked the quiet generated by the class and they liked that they could to reflect on what other students were writing. I was especially moved by their ability to make connections to concepts learned from previous units or current events. I have to say I was impressed chalk talk and my students said they liked how it made everyone participate silently!
How can you use Chalk Talk in a Lesson about Hurricane Sandy?
I am going to do another Chalk Talk on Monday, our first day back after the Hurricane to reflect about the government’s relief effort. I think it will be an interesting way to connect the government’s response to my government course. I think I am going to make my question: “Does the government have a responsibility to get involved after a natural disaster such as a hurricane?”
For more information about Chalk Talk visit the Education Alliance from Brown University.