More Talking in Class, Please. Providing consistent, structured time for students to participate in collaborative conversations can improve the overall classroom environment because once the need to sit quietly is replaced with opportunities to discuss course content, the amount of off-topic talking declines. Both small group and whole class discussions can provide these opportunities. Small Group Discussion Recommendations Teachers can facilitate quick small group collaborative conversations during class and provide immediate opportunities for students to verbally process their learning. Students often benefit from a few moments of quiet before speaking.
I call this time Silent Seconds, when students spend around 10 seconds collecting their thoughts before they speak. Once they’ve done so, I remind them that we have a variety of conversation starters to propel the conversation forward, including “I think _____,” “I wonder _____,” and “I was surprised by _____.” Whole Class Discussion Recommendations. Edutopia. Speed Sharing – a non-threatening alternative. Student writing is often read only by the student and teacher.
Or, if it is shared, the student may be asked to read to the entire class, which is a nerve-racking experience for many pupils. We’ve found there is a better, quick paced, non-threatening way for students to share their writing and research with each other, whether it be a hand-written paper, a word-processed then printed document, or work done on a tablet device. This technique can be used with students aged nine or 10 through to adult learners. We call it ‘Speed Sharing’ and it has been a great success with many of our students of varying ages and grades. Speed Sharing room arrangement Three, four or five presenters-sharers are chosen to begin the process. The mechanics – rotations and every minute counts We usually allot four minutes for each sharing session. Assuming your sharing period is four minutes, at the two minute mark the teacher tells the group ‘Your time is half over—two minute warning!’. Speed Sharing settings. 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.