Here is a brief rundown of how I used this in today’s lesson. We’ve been really focusing on question sentences since last week. Can I just tell you that *few* things make my teacher heart happier then when my students start locating the things we’re focusing on by themselves in real text without any prompt from me? I make a big deal about it when they do. Clearly they see how warm and fuzzy it makes me inside because my firsties this year are BIG on bringing over their books and sharing!
Ok, back to hand pair shares. Today I gave them the white boards and markers and asked them to tell me different asking words they know. I posted the different question words on the board, sometimes more than one at a time. Then they quickly get busy creating their own questions, using one of the question words on the board.
I start counting backward from 20 and they know they have until I get to 1 to have their sentence written and be standing back at their table spot. (Since hand pair share is something my class has done more than once, they know that this is the expectation and it’s just another routine in our classroom.)
When everyone is standing at their spot I tell them they can “go!”which means they can put up their hands and walk to the first person they see or make eye contact with. When their hands touch they take turns reading the sentence they wrote out loud to their partner. When they finish, they have to stand with their hands touching in the air and look my way- voice off! Once the whole group is doing this, I call out, “switch,” and off they go to the next hand they see. We usually do this about 3 times per sentence and then I tell them to go back to the carpet to write their next sentence. Again, they know the drill now, so they hurry back to their seat and start writing their next sentence as I begin the backward count from 20. I can’t tell you how much my students LOVE hand, pair, share!! They ask to do it. I love it because everyone is involved in the activity. They’re reading, writing, speaking, and fully engaged in their learning!
Like everything new in the classroom the first few times you try it you want to model, model, model. I have a student model with me. I have two students model the right way (always pick the ones you KNOW are going to want to do it the wrong way for this part 😉 ) and I also have two students model the incorrect way. While they’re doing the activity I wander through the crowd and “coach” them through it as needed. But I promise you, once you’ve done it a few times and they know the drill, you will spend hardly any time “coaching” and be able to spend lots of time observing and informally assessing!!!
Some of the sentences I got to observe today. These are quick writes, so I just tell my kids to try their best with spelling.Today my real focus was if they were writing sentences that made sense and if they were using the correct punctuation- a questions mark – at the end of every sentence. On the days when we don’t have an even number in the room, I either show them how to form a group of 3 or I jump in and become a part of the activity. This is another great opportunity for me to interact with my students and see what they know!!