Stories From the Classroom-Stopping Blurters
My students have taught me more than I think I have taught them.
I had tried several different strategies in my bag of tricks to get students to be respectful of one another and wait their turn to share ideas. Most of them worked for a short time, but would not have a lasting affect on the repeat blurters.
Last week, I finally found a strategy (by accident) that has had the longest lasting affect than any others I have tried in the past.
A student was sharing her idea during a classroom discussion. She could barely get her idea out before ir stimulated several other comments. The expression on her face told me she was very frustrated, so I asked her, "Sweetie, how did it feel when you were trying to share your idea and your classmates started talking over you?"
Her response opened up further conversation. "I felt like no one wanted to hear what I had to said."
I asked the class if they had ever had others talk over them or cut them off. Every student in the class had friends or parents cut them off while sharing ideas. So, I asked the class, "How did it feel when you had something really important to share and the person you were talking to wouldn't let you finish?"
The following were their responses:
"I felt like I didn't exist."
"I felt like the other person didn't care what I had to say."
"I felt like I wasn't important."
"I felt frustrated when I was trying to share my ideas."
"I felt like they didn't think what I had to say was important."
"I felt like my idea were wrong and their's were right, and they wouldn't even give me a chance to tell them what I was thinking. It was like they didn't care about my idea and only cared about being right."