Today I'm highlighting the fifth component of the SIOP model, which is student interaction!
As always, here is where we stand within the entire SIOP framework:
This section on interaction describes the importance of allowing students to have opportunities to talk about and engage with the content they are learning. Some of the benefits of this include brain stimulation and higher engagement, increased motivation, more processing time for students, and increased attention to the subject material. This component contains the next four features:
16. Frequent opportunities for interaction and discussion
This feature emphasizes the importance of balancing teacher-talk and student-talk. Students should also be asked to elaborate on their responses, instead of just giving yes/no answers. Researchers have found a high correlation between students' oral proficiency levels in English and their reading comprehension and writing skills. In other words, students who are more proficient orally in English will also be more proficient in reading and writing. Therefore, by giving students more opportunities for dialogue and interaction in class, teachers can help students to develop their language in more than one area.
17. Grouping configurations support language and content objectives of the lesson
By using a variety of grouping configurations in the classroom (whole-group, small-groups, partners, individual work), teachers can provide students with a variety of ways to learn new information, discuss it, and process it. Teachers should also be mindful of providing students the opportunity to interact with a variety of peers - groupings should not always be homogeneous, but should be flexible and change according to the purpose of the activity. It is also recommended that at least two different grouping structures be used during a lesson, depending on the activities and objectives.
18. Sufficient wait time for student responses consistently provided
In US classrooms, teachers do not often provide enough wait time for their students to sufficiently process questions, answers, and understanding of concepts. By providing longer wait time, researchers have found that student discourse increases, as well as student-to-student interaction. Students should be given the opportunity to express their thoughts fully without being rushed. One way to accommodate this, but without letting classroom learning time lag too much, is by having students write down their answers first.
19. Ample opportunity for students to clarify key concepts in L1 (native language)
While this may not always be necessary in ELL classrooms or in regular classrooms, students who can make connections between concepts and ideas they may have learned in their first language and the new vocabulary and concepts they are learning, the link will be that much stronger, which will lend itself to deeper connection to the material.
SOME ACTIVITIES TEACHERS CAN USE TO SUPPORT INTERACTION:
*using interactive dialogue journals to share ideas and learning
*"Stay or Stray": students work on an assignment in a small group; the teacher randomly chooses one group member to rotate around to another group to teach the new group the information that was worked on in the first group; the teacher randomly calls a different student in that second group to take the information that was just introduced and go teach it to a third group, etc. That way, all students are held accountable for learning new information because they never know who will be chosen to be the next presenter on what they just learned!
*Start the day in pairs and have each pair discuss the content objective for the class period
*Using "50/50" or "phone a friend" help lines for students who don't know how to articulate an answer. However, that original student must be the one to give the "final" answer, to ensure practice with the language.
What other ways do you promote student interaction within your classroom?
Next Saturday's topic: Practice/Application