Series: Collaborating to Plan & Teach Gifted ELA

Respectful Talk
Lesson Objective: Encourage positive and productive discussions
All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Chism use accountable talk stems?
  2. What concrete strategies does Ms. Chism introduce for getting students to engage in respectful talk?
  3. How could you use Ms. Chism's strategies in your classroom?
This should be taught in every grade level in every classroom. Knowing this factor and strategy leads for successful classroom engagement.
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I think that this is a very important concept to teach our students. In our society, there are times that we may agree with others; however, I think there are probably many more times that we may disagree. Since we are preparing our students for the real world, our students should realize that they are allowed to voice their opinion, but they must do it in a respect manner. I love the culture that this create in the classroom.
Recommended (1)
Thank you for this inspiring video!! I love how Ms. Chism has established a respectful and communicative class culture by first formally introducing "Accountable Talk" conversation starters (with the green papers) while making her ethical reasons clear, then allowing this social vocabulary to be naturally adopted and maintained by the classroom's culture.
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What an awesome video! This is of great help for the classroom. I will definitelty put this into practice in my classes.
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love it
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  • Respectful Talk Transcript

    [00:00:00;00] - [00:02:05;14]

    Student: I'd like to add on to this conversation and say...

    Sherwanda Chism: In this classroom, I

    Respectful Talk Transcript

    [00:00:00;00] - [00:02:05;14]

    Student: I'd like to add on to this conversation and say...

    Sherwanda Chism: In this classroom, I tell my students, you can say what you want to say as long as you say it respectfully. In a classroom, rapport is so important -- when I think the students know that I'm not going to attack them, so I respect them, so they respect me -- I think it's a dual thing.

    Sherwanda Chism (in class): Jocelyn, you have the floor.

    Student: I would like to add on to the conversation and say, "immigrants," because...

    Sherwanda Chism: I am big on them saying each other's names.

    Student: Rachel, what did you talk about in your groups?


    Student: In our group, we talked about how...

    Sherwanda Chism: Students called on each other because I think that's respect because that's one of the things I think about -- common core -- is that you're teaching them to be college career and life ready. Teaching them how to interact socially. They can't just say, "you! Hey, you!" They call each other by name.

    Student: Nakiya.

    Sherwanda Chism: I'm also providing accountable talk stems to teach children how to respectfully debate.

    Sherwanda Chism (in class): I want you to talk to the people in your group. So, I'm listening for accountable talk as well.

    Sherwanda Chism: On the children's tables, there is a card stock with stems and I call them, "accountable talk stems." And so students know that when they speak, they ought to use an accountable talk stem.

    Student: I agree and both disagree with Nakiya.

    Sherwanda Chism: You notice, they didn't necessarily pick these up because we've been using this. It's become a normal practice.

    Student: I disagree. I say you feel relieved because...

    Sherwanda Chism: We teach them to cherish their voice. And everybody has something to say. We can say it as long as we're not harming and as long as we're not hurting.



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School Details

Winridge Elementary School
3500 Ridgeway Road
Memphis TN 38115
Population: 550

Data Provided By:



Sherwanda Chism


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