Accountable Talk in the Classroom

Teaching your students how to have productive, respectful conversations using accountable talk is a total game-changer when it comes to discussions in the classroom. Using this helps students have more meaningful conversations!

Everything you need to foster collaborative conversations.

What is Accountable Talk?

To keep it simple, accountable talk is when students are actively engaged in conversations through listening, responding, agreeing, and disagreeing with each other. It helps them learn how to have deeper conversations with each other!

This is especially helpful when students are sharing about texts we’re reading or math strategies we are learning! You can read all about how I use number talks in my classroom over on this post!

How Do I Introduce Accountable Talk?

One of the first ways I teach my students to hold a conversation is my giving them sentence stems. Many times students don’t know how to hold a conversation or connect ideas. That’s where these sentence stems come into play!

This is a picture of a bulletin board with accountable talk resources.
Accountable talk bulletin board

While these are just a few of the sentence stems I display in my classroom, there are many other starters you can use.

I also love to have miniature-sized sentence stems to use with small groups or for students to use in partners. This allows us to use them on-the-go whenever we need them!

These are small group rings with sentence starters.
Accountable talk posters

Taking Turns With Accountable Talk

One problem I noticed with my students when it came to having conversations was their inability to take turns. They were so eager to share what was on their minds that they weren’t connecting conversations and they were all talking over each other. IT WAS SUCH A HEADACHE!

Because of this, I created these talking sticks. I attached the sentence stems to popsicle sticks and created multiple sets for my classroom.

These are talking sticks with sentence starters.
Talking sticks with accountable talk sentence starters

To introduce talking sticks, I used them in a whole group lesson. I handed them out to a few students and challenged them to hold it up if they could use their talking stick to share something.

This is just another fun way to practice and reinforce how to share, connect ideas, and agree/disagree respectfully!

I also have these FREE bookmarks your students can color (or you can copy them on colored card stock) and keep with them! These are great little reminders students can keep with them all the time!

Want any of the resources featured in this blog post? You can find them here!

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Help students engage in meaningful conversations
Accountable talk sentence starters
Example bulletin board for accountable talk



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