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Strategies for Effective Student Discussions Betsy Madison, GRREC Instructional Specialist, Literacy.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Effective Student Discussions Betsy Madison, GRREC Instructional Specialist, Literacy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Effective Student Discussions Betsy Madison, GRREC Instructional Specialist, Literacy

2 PGES Domain 3: Instruction Component B: Questioning and Discussion Techniques Quality of Questions Student Participation Discussion Techniques

3 Effective Student Discussions “Involving students in discussion is like allowing them to double swipe their cognitive card. It forces them to stop, reflect, process, repackage, and deliver whatever they’re learning.” {Persida Himmele}

4 Authentic Discussions~ what does it take? A warm classroom climate- students must feel comfortable talking to each other A physical set up conducive to discussion- students need to see each other Establish criteria for a good discussion- if you want to see it, you need to teach it… Listen well and validate questions- expand on them, challenge them, and encourage students to challenge you! Warm up the audience: review questions, etc…

5 The Equation for Successful Student Discussions Curiosity + Purpose + Structure

6 Effective Student Discussion Strategies Coming to the Discussion Prepared Post-Its Discussion Cards Stems/Starters Talking Stick Poker Chips/Paper Clips Socratic Seminar Fishbowl Jigsaw Tea Party The Final World Collaborative Annotation

7 Teacher’s Role in Student Discussion Make the purpose of the task clear. Keep reinforcing the ‘ground rules’. Listen before intervening. Join in, don’t judge. Ask students to describe, explain and interpret. Make students do the thinking. Don’t be afraid of leaving discussions unresolved.

8 How Many Teachers? What is the purpose of ‘thinking time’? What is your role? What is the purpose of the small group discussion? What is your role? What is the purposes of the final whole class discussion? What is your role?

9 Socratic Seminar Socratic Seminar in the Classroom What strategies encourage higher student engagement and individual participation? What strategies encourage higher student engagement and the participation of all individuals?

10 Scaffolds How did students get to the point they could have that type of structured discussion?

11 Scaffolding With Discussion Stems “Providing students with the beginning of an academic response is a very effective tool for increasing the quality and quantity of student participation. Sentence starters serve to both focus attention on critical content as well as provide students with the language support needed to engage in academic discussions.” Kevin Feldman & Kate Kinsella

12 Discussion Stems I believe _____ is right/wrong because __________. I like your idea about _________. I agree with you up to a point, but I think that __________.

13 Purposeful Pairings

14 Student Discussion Self-Assessment  Did you find it helpful to have a chance to think about the question yourself before it was discussed in your group?  How far did you really think together, or did you tend to follow independent lines of thought?  Did someone ‘take over’? Was someone a ‘passenger’?  Did you listen to, share ideas with and consider the alternative views of everyone in the group?  Did you build on each others’ ideas to construct chains of coherent reasoning?  Did your discussion stay ‘on task’ or were you ‘wandering’?  What are the implications of this activity for your learning?

15 Practice Think time--Write time--Talk time “If my students are to demonstrate, explain, critique, analyze, and answer, they need to have academic conversations.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?

16 Think Time  Think about the quote and decide your reasons for agreeing or disagreeing Write Time  Write a few of your thoughts on a post-it note Talk Time  Group (table) discussion using Discussion Stems

17 On your copy of PGES Domain 3B, please underline the descriptors and critical attributes met by using these student discussion strategies.

18 How can I help you? Betsy Madison Betsymadison.com


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