Target Talk

Student Contributor: L. Whites
Target talk is encouraging students to behave by acknowledging the pro-social skills they use. This is helpful because it makes students aware of when they are using these skills and encourages them to continue to use them.

Target talk is a great tool to use in any classroom. It is important to note that the vocabulary you use when practicing target talk is extremely powerful and should be a shared list of meaningful words in the classroom (i.e. Susan Kovalik’s Lifeskills.) It is important that it is a shared list so that students get to use them often and really understand the meaning of them. An example of how you would use target talk is “Sam, thank you for using the lifeskill of perseverance and getting through that tough math assignment.” You can also have students acknowledge each other for displaying lifeskills during community circle time.

This tool is used during the supportive phase because it is used during authentic moments. It is encouraging positive behavior. It doesn't necessarily relate to the preventative and corrective phases, but for correcting student behavior you could use the shared list of vocabulary to explain to students a lifeskill they can use to correct what they did. I think that this tool can be used in student directed, collaborative, and teacher directed classrooms. I believe it could be more beneficial in a student directed or collaborative classroom so that students have the opportunity to acknowledge each other more often for using lifeskills.

More Information –
Tool Source: Susan Kovalik

1 thought on “Target Talk”

  1. Grade Level: 4th
    Number of Students: 26

    This tool was very easy to prepare for especially because everyone enjoys receiving compliments. I created and used google slides to share with the students about how to receive and give these powerful encouragements, as well as examples for strong positive vocabulary. I also used a small ball to help add to the sharing portion of this tool by showing who is the speaker. At the end of my instruction, all of my students wanted a turn to share after being given the expectations and an example structure to follow. I felt like it succeeded in creating and maintaining an engaging and responsive environment for all of the students. If I was to suggest any changes, I would encourage to have the vocab included with a word wall in the classroom for all to see or even to have a spot in their writing journals to add and reflect throughout the school year.


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