I found our previous lesson on group discussions to be very helpful. It was fun to bounce ideas off of each other and learn how my peers frame group discussions in their classes. In my classroom, we frequently have students work together to solve problems and discuss. I’ve found that I mainly use a couple discussions techniques (think-pair-share, 4 corners, etc.). However, once these practices become routine, students sometimes disengaged because they already know what’s coming up next. It was helpful to learn new strategies to spark student-centered discussions.
I also really liked the structured academic controversy exercise. We often have students analyze primary source documents. Sometimes it is difficult for students to be interested in reading text. They often think it’s boring to read about the past. This exercise would provide them with a clear purpose for reading the text and an opportunity to apply what they learned in a meaningful way. It also allows them to consider texts from multiple perspectives. I think this activity would be excellent for my upcoming Treaty of Versailles lesson. I want to try it out!