Ensuring that time to talk is productive can be a challenge. I particularly appreciated chapter 3 of this book as it walks through the process of planning classroom conversations to ensure that they are purposeful. Chapters 4 and 5 include a variety of anchor charts to use in your lessons, as well as activity ideas that generate conversations.
Although simple, I found this tool to be extremely helpful. It is a quick way to formatively assess whether or not students' conversations are effective and productive. If not, using the constructive conversation skills poster, I am able to quickly determine what I can teach my students to make their conversations more productive.
Discussions 4 Learning is a resource that I have used with my students and really like. It is a series of art images along with discussion questions that highlight the use of 4 to 6 academic vocabulary words per image. The students have engaging discussions and have really enjoyed looking at and taking about each image.
This video demonstrates how students can develop vocabulary and grammar skills through conversations about art. It shows a lesson in action so that you can see how the students go about developing their language.
This is a resource I come back to time and again, both for my own planning and as a resource for students to use. The poster highlights four conversational moves students can make to build up an idea in their conversation and gives plentiful sentence starters to demonstrate what each conversational move sounds like.
This video shows an effective strategy for getting kids to argue a point and back it up with reasons. The teacher includes specific instruction on a language feature often used in argumentation - the phrase "even though".
A successful conversation is a complex act involving many norms that successful conversationalists don't even realize they use. Zwiers breaks down what successful academic conversations look like, shows teachers how to identify their students' conversational needs, and offers many ideas for how to teach each aspect of conversation.