Center High School

Spotlight on Strategies - Building Capacity

Spotlight Strategy: Boosting Emotional Intelligence

SPOTLIGHT STRATEGY FOR WEEK OF May 2, 2016

As instructors we are always looking for practical knowledge and tools to create positive and lifelong learning. Time is of the essence in so many ways, I thought this would be a quick and easy way for you to browse and try some new strategies as we continue to develop our learner centered classrooms

Accountable Talk - Oral Language Strategy in Checking for Understanding

This is a framework for teaching students how to have enriched interactions during conversation. The teacher and student agree up front what to commit to as they engage in conversations/discussions in class. Some of the guidelines might include:


  • Staying on topic
  • Using information that is accurate and appropriate for the topic
  • Thinking deeply about what their partner has to say.


Accountable talk is considered to be crucial because it creates shared expectations for all academic communication in the classroom. This also applies to class meeting, Socratic seminar, or group discussion.

How Do I Implement Accountable Talk?

Students are taught hot o be accountable to one another and to their learning using techniques that forward the conversation and deepen their understanding of the topic. Five indicators include:


  • Press for clarification and explanation: "Could you describe what you mean?"
  • Require justification of proposals and challenges: "Where did you find that information?"
  • Recognize and challenge misconceptions: "I don't agree because..."
  • Demand evidence for claims and arguments: "Can you give me an example"?
  • Interpret and use each other's statements: "David suggested....."


These communication skills are valuable for students using inquiry and engaging in active learning. From a teacher's perspective by monitoring the use of these indicators it can inform the next segment of teacher-led instruction.

Looking For Further Information?

Check out the following sources ( used to make this smore)

TOP 10 Brain-Based Teaching Strategies by Eric Jensen

Checking for Understanding Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom 2" by Frey D Fisher (2014)