Talking Points

Last year my Prep team purchased a set of 30 RM Talking Points. These little devices record up to 10 seconds worth of audio that can be replayed and re-recorded over numerous times.

Unfortunately we received them at the end of the year and they were packed away for the move into our new building and while I’ve used them in my classroom, I know that I could be using them better. These holidays I’ve been exploring how other people have used these (and similar devices – such as Talking Tin Lids) and I thought I’d post some of my brainstorming – in the hopes that there are others out there who might have other ideas that they’re willing to share.

(I’m also going to be running a PD day with the Grade 1/2 team at my school Friday-week about these Talking Points, plus an intro to blogging and a bit on Storybird – so I’d love extra ideas, and I’ll be posting the discussion from the day here after it happens!)

RM Talking Points, Image from Edsoft

Primarily I’ve used these devices with my preps to record what they want to write during Journal Writing so that they can hear (as many times as they need) their sentence/s and check their writing. I consider this quite a basic use of such a versatile tool, but it does help my struggling writers who often loose their confidence when writing.

Earlier this year I attended a celebration lunch of the work I, and other teachers in Victoria did exploring how to embed technology into Early Years Literacy. I was lucky to present, and I was also fortunate to hear James Ramage present some fantastic activities that he had completed with his class. I stumbled across his Vimeo account and found some great videos of his students using their Talking Tin Lids.

Some of the ideas I really liked:

  • Using multiple devices to record the beginning/middle/end of familiar stories. Students then had to sort the devices into the correct order and explain/justify their ordering.
  • Students recording instructions for games or instructional texts. (Then using this a prompt for writing the instructions.)
  • Students recording what they want to write and having a correlating writing sheet – I liked how this one was very structured and encouraged students to write multiple sentences and illustrate each sentence.

Other ideas I’ve seen while stumbling around on the internet – and I apologise here for any lost credit – plus a few of my own tacked on to the end:

  • Adults recording the days of the week/months of the year onto individual devices and students sort them into the correct order. This would also work really well for numbers, skip counting patterns/etc.
  • Using the Talking Points to leave messages – I think this one would be really cute for them to leave inspirational messages to others (or themselves) at the end of the day to be heard the following morning.
  • Students can use them to record their initial observations or objects/activities/books/etc and then use these observations to complete writing or further tasks.
  • Matching activities – record descriptions of objects and students need to match the object to the description (or, have students record the descriptions and other students match them up).
  • Recording sight words or phrases into devices and have students match them to cards with the written words/phrases.
  • Record instructions at activity stations that students can replay if they need to.
  • Set up a scavenger hunt.
  • Record comprehension questions.
  • Have students record silly ‘buzzer’ noises, and use them for games where students need to ‘buzz’ in to be first.
I’m really interested to see what ideas others can think of. Now that I’ve finally wrapped my head around the fact that I’m teaching a Prep/1 class (and now that my Preps have settled in) I’m focusing more on my digital literacies practises again – honestly, it takes me to a happy place! – and I’m all for new ideas!

All ideas, for lower/middle/upper primary and beyond happily accepted!

How else could a 10 second recording device be used in a classroom?

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