Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Talk Blocks

When I ordered the Talk Points I talked about in my last post, I also ordered a set of five Talk Blocks!

The Talk Blocks are pretty much the same idea as the Talk Points.  You can record messages on them and play them back later. But there are a few differences:

1. While the Talk Points hold a ten-second message, the Talk Blocks hold a thirty-second message.

2. Talk Blocks are more expensive.

3. Talk points are cylindrical, and the Talk Blocks are a square shape.

4. The Talk Blocks have a clear, removable cover. Big deal, you say? Well, you can remove the cover and place a picture under it. Or a word. Or a drawing. You know, each Talk Block can be personalized in some way.

So I have a couple of ideas to use right away. You knew I did, right?

My first idea is to use the Talk Blocks for book recommendations. Each week five students (five because I have five Talk Blocks, but I'm hoping to get a class set at some point!) would get turns to recommend books. Each student would choose a favorite book, write something about it, and then record himself reading it. The written piece might include elements from recent reading comprehension lessons, if applicable. It could be along the lines of the children's recommendations in Reading Rainbow episodes. After the students have completed  their recommendations, each Talk Block, along with a copy of the book being recommended could be placed in a central area to be shared with other students.

Another thought I had was to use them for science and art. We do lots and lots of animal studies in my class. A student could research an animal, complete a writing piece, and record himself or herself reading it. The Talk Block could be placed with student- created diagrams and maps related to the animal, as well as texts, and the class could take a gallery walk!  Other students could view the diagram and push the Talk Block to learn more about the animal.

I'm so pleased to have two interesting new technology toys tools to use with my first graders when school starts.

Need some Talk Blocks of your own? Click HERE.

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