Learn how the Conversation Compass approach can strengthen your classroom conversations!
The Conversation Compass© is a conversation-based instructional approach designed to enhance classroom conversations. The goal for the approach is to build teachers’ ability to engage in culturally-responsive instructional peer conversations by:
- ~~enhancing their knowledge of conversation skills in general,
- ~~building their knowledge of ethnic minority children’s communication styles,
- ~~fostering regular peer-to-peer conversations with small groups of children,
- ~~providing lesson planning tools that can be used alongside any core curriculum.
What will you learn from this site?
The Ecology of School Readiness Lab presents to you the Conversation Compass. By navigating through this site, you will:
- become familiar with the Conversation Compass instructional approach
- have access to lesson planning tools that will help you guide your classroom conversations
- be able to purchase the Conversation Compass Workbook
- have the opportunity to ask questions and share your thoughts
- learn about the creator of this strategy, Dr. Stephanie M. Curenton
How will this approach enhance your classroom?
The Conversation Compass approach strives to foster high-quality language learning and better teacher-to-child and peer-to-peer communication. High-quality classroom conversations can help a child:
- build their problem-solving skills,
- foster critical thinking,
- describe their thoughts and emotions,
- be prepared for kindergarten.
Sample Toolkit Materials
For a more comprehensive demonstration of how to use these lesson planning tools and for complete details and training on the approach, see the Conversation Compass Workbook
Includes the complete lesson planning toolkit along with an explanation of the tools and the approach
Learn more about the research evidence that inspired the Conversation Compass approach
"If each and every day [children] are invited to talk about their ideas and experiences and to listen to those of their classmates, they will learn that conversation is a natural and important part of learning."
~ From Are Your Listening? by Lisa Burman (2009, p. 47)
FEEDBACK FROM TEACHERS
I finally finished the Conversation Compass course. I really enjoyed it and hope to put it in practice before the end of the year. The two things that I really would like to get started are getting my questions away from just analyzing and into brainstorming and tracking peer conversations. We do a lot of questioning during and after our read aloud, but I don’t do so much during small groups (as a matter of fact small groups get left out due to time constraints more often than not) and the small groups that I use have more than 4 kids in them so I need to review how I do small groups in the future. I have also never intentionally set up a conversation between students, I have just let them develop and I see that I should probably do more to encourage students to talk to each other.
---Jerri, Head Start teacher from Texas, March 2016
Kudos to you! It was wonderful to see it all put together. The process [of taking the online course] truly drove home the most important parts of your text.