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Hearing Student Voices

"As a learning community, we replayed these conversations many times to notice how smart our brains were as we named each others' wonders, predictions, connections, inferences, and theories embedded in the saved conversations."

This video documents my work supporting students to use digital voice recorders for "book talks" that allowed them to be active participants in their own processes of inquiry and learning. Sharing their "smart thinking" with each other, and hearing their own voices in the recordings made such a difference in the kind of inquiry and learning process we went through together.

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TechHeather's picture


Thank you for posting such a great piece. "I wonder..." Those sweet little voices... Such rigor and such cuteness all in one video about teaching and learning! Good stuff!

Your piece was referenced in the NWP Book Discussion Ning as we converse about Because Digital Writing Matters. I'd like to point your viewers to that discussion in time to participate or much later to refer to the archived discussion. The link may change after our June 22-July 20, 2011 discussion period, but it should be easy to find. It may well have migrated to the new NWP Connect by the time later viewers see this...

In any case, thanks again for posting this video.

Heather Severson

Southern Arizona Writing Project

National Writing Project E-Team

cslegona's picture

Imagine that these students have the opportunity to record their verbal responses to a range of prompts/questions year after year. To be able to listen repeatedly to your observations or contributions to a discussion, while not actively engaged the discussion.

Students do not hear themselves - teacher do not hear themselves often enough. The ability to reflect on what an individual has said is a powerful tool. I think of the possibilities for students in my math classes. We write daily and weekly in response to questions or problems. The opportunity to hear what you have just said fed back to you would be an eye-opener for students. If a statement was made with flaws in it, the speaker could listen to him/herself and evaulate the response, compare it to written resources or other student's input. While this would be cumbersome to use in a middle school math room where there are 5 periods, the opportunity to hear what you have said may make a difference in a student's ability to more quickly clarify their thinking or develope a good idea further. It is a strategy worth experimenting with.