Following a classroom discussion (preferably a science discussion) reflect on the characteristics of your students’ talk: How many students contributed to the discussion? To what extent did students listen to each other? Did they explain the reasons behind their ideas? Did they connect their ideas to other’s ideas? Raise questions? Ask for clarification? Revise their ideas? Plan to talk about your reflections in the study group. Identify a specific characteristic you want to work on with your students.
Changing the expectations for how discussions work will require persistence as conventional patterns of talk are engrained and part of the established classroom culture. Revisit the list of norms each day. How might you involve students in taking stock of how their discussions reflect the norms.
Supported by the National Science Foundation, grant #0918435A.
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