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Classroom Discussions / Conversations

posted Jan 13, 2019, 2:56 PM by HSD Principal
Back to Jennifer Gonzalez this week: In “Get Students Talking with Ongoing Conversations”, she describes teacher Jeff Frieden's process of engaging his students in class discussions. With a few simple changes to how he runs discussions, he reports the following benefits:
  • Much more on-task student talk
  • Students getting to know many more classmates
  • Developing social skills: “There’s tremendous benefit in getting past some of the socially awkward stuff,” says Frieden. “And really just learning how to interact with another human being will actually enrich your academic life too."
  • The opportunity to quickly check for understanding by walking around listening in on conversations – for example, when he asked a sophomore class to talk about Clover as the class read Animal Farm, he heard a lot of students asking “Who’s Clover?” so he called time out and talked about the character and her relevance to the book.
  • Less need for exit tickets and quizzes. “I collect less work,” he says, “but students do more.”