Student Led Discussion Strategies for Whole Class Discussion. Do you struggle with student led discussion strategies? Been there; done that! Before this school year started, as I was thinking of what I might focus on for a blog series, I kept coming back to the idea of classroom discussion. It’s the heart of what an ELA classroom is about. Our foundation is built on the exchange of ideas, the use of speaking and listening skills to process and further student learning. Yet, depending on the class, it can be like pulling teeth to get a discussion rolling.
Before we get too far, did you catch my first two posts about classroom discussion strategies? If you are a tech-savvy soul, you will also want to check out this post about tech discussion strategies and tools for student discussion. The Gist: If you’re looking for a way for students to run their own discussion (hello, Danielson Framework Domains 2 and 3!) Have students sit in a circle.
What do the Student Led Discussion Cups Signal? Red = I am processing and/or taking notes right now. Related. Avoiding the Pitfalls of Student Group Work. By Patrice Palmer How do your students react when you tell them that they are going to work on a group project? Are their voices filled with glee or groans? According to education columnist Maureen Downey in her newspaper article, “What Teens Resent: Classrooms Controlled by Students Rather Than Teachers,” most students hate group projects “and wonder why schools revere them.”
Downey writes: In the last few weeks, I’ve talked to several groups of students who outline the same scenario: Teachers don’t intervene when students commandeer classroom discussions or divert them. Repeatedly, students told me they could learn twice as much in half the time if teachers rein in their rambling peers. So why have students work in groups if they dislike it so much? Avoid Group Work Pitfalls It may seem like more work for teachers to spend time preparing students to work in groups, but it makes sense to set students up for success before they start sliding into some of the pitfalls of group work. How to Promote Critical Thinking with Socratic Seminars - Kids Discover.
As teachers, we’re constantly being told to implement 21st Century Skills and the “4Cs” (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity). However, beyond that, we frequently aren’t sure where to begin. To tackle each of the “Cs,” one of my favorite activities to do with my 7th grade science classes is a Socratic Seminar. Although Socratic Seminars take some preparation for both the teacher and the students, the outcome is well worth the effort! The goal is to get students to dive deep into what you’ve covered in class and think critically about the topic at hand. A Socratic Seminar is a student-led discussion where part of the class is in an inner circle speaking, and the other part of the class is in an outer circle observing.
Mari’s 7th grade science class discusses “How humans impact their environment” after studying multimedia resources in class. My role as the facilitator is to silently watch the discussion from outside both circles. Our preparation included: How to Have an Equitable Class Discussion. These patterns can be self-perpetuating, and they can discourage learning. Students who are called on over and over may come to view their perspectives as the right perspectives.
At the same time, students who are not called on often may begin to perceive their teachers as unfair — and become even less likely to contribute. Establishing inclusive, equitable norms of participation from the start is key. "It's absolutely essential to figure out a way of managing who's speaking when, who's taking turns, in any kind of seminar discussion," says Harvard lecturer Timothy Patrick McCarthy, who teaches a course called Stories of Slavery and Freedom and who strives to make his class discussions equitable from day one. "You don't want one or two or three or a cohort of voices to dominate the discussion. " Valuing Diverse Voices This practice helps elevate marginalized voices, and it also helps ensure that students will learn from classmates and peers of different backgrounds. Student Led Discussion Strategies for Whole Class Discussion.