Discussion Methods – Ideas and Experiences

Over my time in my placement, I have learned that discussions in some classes will just not be beneficial or productive. Some students are just not mature enough to have thoughtful discussions with the class. Because of this, the entire class looses out on opportunities for discussion. There are other kinds of smaller discussions that I’ve been able to try and want to try in the future.

In my previous field experience placement, my Cooperating Teacher was a big fan of having Structured Academic Controversy in her class. One of many times she used this method in her class, they were discussing the start of the Civil War. This was a really productive activity for this topic since there is always so many ideas around what really started the Civil War. It was good for students to be able to see sources from each side and see them argue for and against points they had supported at the beginning of the class, but maybe were completely against by the end. It was very cool to see how these students responded and how well they were able to use the documents provided to them to create valid and strong arguments.

In my classroom this year, my CT and I have tried having students evaluate pictures before we start a new unit and have students jigsaw the photographs so they can see what they will be learning in the next unit. This was beneficial in some classes, but others turned disastrous. Since starting my unit plan, I’ve been a big fan of seeing how students are doing at the end of the class period and what they have learned. Exit tickets have been a really good tool to get that kind of information. I’ve used that in a couple classes, but don’t want it to become too repetitive so I’m excited to try a couple new ideas in the next few class periods.

One tool I’m excited to try is the 3-2-1 method. I think using this method would be helpful for students to feel a bit more empowered in their learning because it focuses on things that they are good at and know how to do. Focusing on what students are good at might also help those who are dealing with stress about tests. I’m also really interested in seeing how the Send-a-problem tool would work. It activates students to do something for themselves and their own learning and might be a tool they can model for themselves and others in the classroom before trying it at home or for other classes as well. My class is having a review day in a couple of class periods so I’m excited to try that one out for them instead of just making a Kahoot for them to review with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.