Hands Down, Speak Out: Listening and Talking Across Literacy and Math
Few skills are as critical or as rare today as the ability to hear and comprehend what other people are saying. The authors of Hands Down, Speak Out argue that we need new tools to teach the art of listening and they’ve put forward a simple yet transformative model for encouraging student conversations that are inclusive, empowering, and rich in content. This classroom guide for grades K-5 is particularly needed in the aftermath of two disrupted school years.
- Teaching Foundational Skills Across Subjects: Hands Down, Speak Out is a practical guide for teaching listening and talking skills that span both literacy and math instruction and can be applied to a multitude of curriculums.
- K-5 Classroom Management Focused on Dialogue: Too often, the practice of hand-raising favors the performance of answers by a few students over the construction of meaning involving the whole class. Help all students develop dialogue skills that will deepen their understanding of literacy and mathematics, as well as of themselves, their communities, and the world.
- 28 Student-Centered Micro Lessons: Each of these short, incremental lessons build specific skills during content instruction rather than taking time away from it. Students will be energized by a discourse structure in which their ideas and voices take the lead while teachers focus on listening and facilitating.
- Nurturing Disagreements: The authors provide guidance for managing difficult conversations by teaching students to engage in debate and discussion in a way that values listening equally with talking. Students are able to spend time developing active listening and speaking skills in a constructive environment.
“When we build talk communities with children, our greatest hope is that what they learn through talking about reading, writing, and math is matched by what they learn about living in the world with others,” write Kassia Omohundro Wedekind and Christy Hermann Thompson.
Hands Down, Speak Out demonstrates how teachers and leaders can run inclusive and accessible classrooms that respect each student’s level of participation.
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