We were in Beth Lawson's third-grade classroom when we learned this simple strategy for making sure everyone has a partner before they turn and talk.
She asked the children to quickly find someone they don't work with often and sit quietly back to back.
Sitting back to back enabled her to take a quick scan to be sure everyone had a partner, and it eliminated side conversations that spring up and can be hard to quell quickly. Beth gave clear directions and then asked students to turn and talk. Students swiveled around and immediately engaged in productive discussions which were focused on the topic. It was inspiring.
If your turn and talk times aren't going as smoothly as you'd like, this tip might be just what you need to keep things humming along the way you want them to. Thanks, Beth.