Class 10: How to Lead a Conversation that Builds Student Understanding

Student discussion

Today’s class will be in two parts. One part will be an introduction to the final project. And we will also explore strategies and resources for taking the teacher out of the role of information gatekeeper and encouraging productive student-centered dialogue. 

  1. “Structured Academic Controversy” (SAC) model. Not all issues can be easily debated as pro / con positions. SAC provides students with a framework for addressing complex issues in a productive manner that builds their skills in reading, analyzing, listening, and discussion. It shifts the goal from “winning” the argument to active listening to opposing viewpoints and distilling areas of agreement. We will try Was Abraham Lincoln a racist? 251kb PDF. You might consider using the SAC process with my series “Great Debates in American History
  2. “Fishbowl” – a versatile discussion technique. Here’s a pdf explanation.
  3. “Brainstorm, Group, Label” – Scroll to  #13 in this collection I designed. “Strategies for Struggling Readers” pdf

Looking for more classroom discussion resources?

Assignment 8 | Completed Discussion posts 19A-8

Try a discussion idea with your students this week. Could even be a brief one. [As an alternative, do a post on a discussion strategy you used in the past.] Write a reflective blog post that includes:

  1. A good title and featured image.
  2. The context of the lesson.
  3. The discussion strategy you used.
  4. What you learned from the experience.

Class 8/9: Lesson Study 2

Lesson study is a form of classroom inquiry in which several teachers collaboratively plan, teach, observe, revise and share the results of a single class lesson.  (Learn more about the “formal” process here)

We are modifying that formal process into a simple one. Each student in the class will “teach” a 20-25 minute learning activity. The rest of the class will act as participate / observers – serving as “students” during the lesson and afterwards, giving feedback to the “teacher.”

ASSIGNMENT 6 – TEACHING A LESSON (Session 2) | Lesson ideas (2) 19A-6
  • Class 8 (10/21) – Jose, Jarrett, Casey
    Class 9 (10/28) – Renee, Maddy, Jacquie, Cody

“Teachers” have prepared a learning activity and written an anticipatory blog post following guidelines outlined here.

  1. target audience
  2. content (what will be studied)
  3. process (what will you do – what will students do)
  4. resources for lessons

Participate / observers will use the following prompts to guide their feedback  immediately following the lesson.

  1. Contentas a student, what were you learning – facts, skills, insights?
  2. Processwhat did you see the teacher do to set up and deliver the lesson?
  3. Productwhat were you, as a student, tasked to “do / produce” to demonstrate your learning?
  4. Assessmentas an observer, how did the lesson go? Insights on content, delivery, workflow. Suggestions?
ASSIGNMENT 7 (Session 2)

“Teachers” will write a blog post that reflects on how your intent was realized in your delivery. Possible prompts: 

  • Did you accomplish your goals? 
  • What worked well? What didn’t?  
  • How about your timing, delivery and workflow? 
  • What did you learn from the experience?

Class 7: Close Reading Historical Documents

Close Reading Historical Documents

Teachers can use historical documents to build literacy skills in a content area while empowering students to be the historian in the classroom. But document-based  instruction in this context requires four key elements to be successful:

  1. The right documents. (shouldn’t be reliant on background knowledge)
  2. Knowing how to “read” the historical document.
  3. Letting students discover their own patterns, then asking students to describe, compare and defend what they found.
  4. Basing the task on enduring questions, the kind that students might actually want to answer.

In Class 7 we will practice some strategies for assisting students to more closely read a document (in all their multimedia formats) by answering three Common Core questions. Broad version:

  1. What does it say?
  2. How does it say it?
  3. What’s it mean to me?

More specifically, what do we mean by close reading? Teachers can guide students with scaffolding questions that explore “texts” (in all their forms).

Key Ideas and Details:

What does the text say? Identify the key ideas. What claims does the author make? What evidence does the author use to support those claims?

Craft and Structure:

Who created the document? What’s their point of view / purpose? How did the text say it? How does it reflect its historic time period?

Integration of Knowledge and ideas:

Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text. Recognize disparities between multiple accounts. Compare text to other media / genres. How does it connect to what we’re learning?

And what’s it mean to me?

In class activity

Find a historical image and pair it with one of the Primary Source Icebreakers. The post to the padlet below. Include title of icebreaker, response to prompt and hyperlinked source of image. (See example below)

Source TPS Connect

Made with Padlet
Assignment 6 | Lesson ideas (2) 19A-6

Students will prepare to teach their second lesson to peers during the two classes noted below. As they did last time they will do a blog post to introduce the lesson and following the lesson. Lessons should be original designs.

The introductory blog post can highlight:

  • target audience
  • content (what will be studied)
  • process (what will you do – what will students do)
  • resources for lessons

Class 8 (10/21) – Jose, Jarrett, Casey
Class 9 (10/28) – Renee, Maddy, Jacquie, Cody

Class 5/6: Lesson Study

Lesson Study

Lesson study is a form of classroom inquiry in which several teachers collaboratively plan, teach, observe, revise and share the results of a single class lesson.  (Learn more about the “formal” process here)

We are modifying that formal process into a simple one. Each student in the class will “teach” a 20-25 minute learning activity. The rest of the class will act as participate / observers – serving as “students” during the lesson and afterwards, giving feedback to the “teacher.”

Assignment 4 – teaching a lesson | Lesson ideas 19A-4

“Teachers” have prepared a learning activity and written an anticipatory blog post following guidelines outlined here.

  1. target audience
  2. content (what will be studied)
  3. process (what will you do – what will students do)
  4. resources for lessons

Participate / observers will use the following prompts to guide their feedback  immediately following the lesson.

  1. Content: as a student, what were you learning – facts, skills, insights?
  2. Process: what did you see the teacher do to set up and deliver the lesson?
  3. Product: what were you, as a student, tasked to “do / produce” to demonstrate your learning?
  4. Assessment: as an observer, how did the lesson go? Insights on content, delivery, workflow. Suggestions?
Assignment 5 | Lesson reflections 19A-5

“Teachers” will write a blog post that reflects on how your intent was realized in your delivery. Possible prompts:

  • Did you accomplish your goals?
  • What worked well? What didn’t?  
  • How about your timing, delivery and workflow?
  • What did you learn from the experience?