If you have ever tried to conduct a ‘Silent conversation’ activity in lessons, you may have found them a useful way for students to communicate their ideas, ask questions about a starter image, discuss an issue and peer assess each others work. Although a very useful activity, I have come across a couple of challenges:
- How do students record the information so that they each have a copy in their books to review at a later date and to show you what they have done and understood?
- How do you motivate those who find writing unappealing?
How about using iPads (if available), or school computers to conduct the same task but creating a stream of text messages which can be printed out and stuck into books?
There are numerous websites that allow you to do this, two such examples are (Click on image):
You can use it for a calm and quiet start to a lesson to interrogate an image, after a piece of extended writing to question each other about what they have done or as a summary task where students can ask each other questions about the work they have done that lesson.