As a review from the previous lesson, and an intro to the focus for the day, the teacher I was watching created a “forced dialogue”; he had scripted a “here’s what happened last time, and now we are going to do this…” dialogue, complete with student and teacher parts. As he revealed the script one line at a time, the whole class was engaged, as they read their parts aloud together.
I decided to try it out in my own classroom this morning.
We had just finished working on growing patterns, and were going to attack a problem involving shrinking patterns today. My first attempt at a script follows:
Jalissa: We've been working on making patterns.
Ms. Teschow: That's right, Jalissa, we have!
Peter: Yes, we've been exploring growing patterns, like skip counting, for example.
Kaiya: And adding 1 more each time.
Ms. Teschow: What were some ways that we showed our growing patterns?
Josh: Well, we drew dot pictures.
Ms. Teschow: That's right, Josh, we drew pictures of our patterns.
Ahmad: And we wrote down the next few numbers in a number pattern.
Ms. Teschow: And what did you notice happening in a growing pattern?
Selver: It increases each time!
Abdul: You add!
Ms. Teschow: Yes, in a growing pattern, you can use addition to increase the number each time, that is true.
Katie and Lin Hau: We used number lines!
Ms. Teschow: Yes! Number lines are a great tool to help us with number patterns!
Jimmy: What are we going to do next, Ms. Teschow?
Ms. Teschow: I'm so glad you asked, Jimmy! Today, we are going to look at shrinking patterns!
Class: (shouts) HURRAH!
I’m not sure how to assess that yet, so I can’t say one way or another, definitively. What I can say is this: Both the students and their teacher were engaged and having fun together this morning!