From Chalk to Talk - The Art of Joyful Teaching – Learning

We must remember that these technologies are a mere supplement to class room teaching, but can never substitute teachers or their chalk and talk methodology of teaching.

A teacher’s job is the best job in the world, one that pays to learn something new every single day!. Everyday students teach us something new. Thanks to the pandemic, teachers had to redesign their teaching practice because the brains of students today would be developing in significantly different ways than the brain of students around three decades ago before the invention of present day electronic devices. Technology has a big benefit in our profession. 

Technology did bring about a big change in education system. Teachers prefer using technology and internet is gradually wiping out the traditional method of teaching. But the use of blackboard or a white board, where the main points of the lesson are written is still very useful as the attention of the learners are more easily attracted by teacher than in any other method of teaching. At the end of the lesson, the teachers generally write the key words that is related to the lesson. These keywords provide the learner with a skeleton of the topic that was taught. The summary of the day’s lesson is represented by these key words. By adding the necessary information to these key words it becomes easier for the learner to understand the concept in a cogent and cohesive manner. 

The Chalk to talk method of teaching asks learners to consider ideas and queries shared by their peers. This strategy of brainstorming is a great way to assess prior knowledge or check for student understanding. The students "talk" with the "chalk." A Chalk Talk is an activity that provides all students the opportunity to reflect on what they know, and then share their thinking and wonderings while connecting to the thoughts of their classmates. With this method student are asked to think about ideas presented to them, make connections to others' responses and then question the ideas and responses of their peers. This Chalk Talk activity provides a forum for introverted or hesitant students to share their ideas with peers. It is a great activity for increasing understanding and assimilation of a topic by having students present ideas, question those ideas, and then build upon the ideas of others. Students learn better after seeing their classmates' ideas. An educator may use mind map, K(Know)W (Want to know) L (What I learned) chart, Venn Diagram, Freestyle brainstorming.

Why are Chalk Talks useful? Chalk Talks work well to engage learners, expose them to different perspectives, help to make students independent, give an opportunity to all students to have an equal say and encourage problem solving and critical thinking. These activities also help teachers to check for understanding before introducing a topic and assess the it after or in the middle of the unit.

This helps students to be involved with all the 4C’s of 21st century learning. Collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. Classrooms need a shift from Teacher centered to student centered. The teachers function as guide on the side rather than sage on the stage. The students should be given an opportunity to initiate the conversation, construct meaning and draw their own conclusion. This pedagogy is grounded in inclusion and all voices are valued and encouraged. The students develop confidence and try to develop their next conversation more meaningfully. This pedagogy is grounded in four principles. The one does the work, does the learning; new learnings must be organized around the few significant ideas; new learning must be useful and interference must be reduced. Students relearn how to be curious, how to find their own voice and how to drive their own learning. Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter associated with higher motivation levels, attention and creativity. Incorporating activities that give a chance to students to explore, solve problems and be curious improves outcomes in the classroom and becomes an integral part of joyful learning. Teachers should step back and allow their students to step up and follow their voices.

In the last couple of decades, technology, smart classes and digital classrooms have tried to replace the black boards. Undoubtedly, these technologies enable learners to obtain a better understanding of the subject. However, we must remember that these technologies are a mere supplement to class room teaching, but can never substitute teachers or their chalk and talk methodology of teaching. An inviting classroom, surprise elements in lessons, relevant learning experiences, and incorporation of physical activity can ensure that learning is truly joyful for students.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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