Teaching and Learning Strategies for the Thinking Classroom

By Alan Crawford; Wendy Saul et al. | Go to book overview

FOURTH CORE LESSON: CONDUCTING
A DISCUSSION
Previous lessons have presented ways to get students to inquire into the meaning of a text or a lesson. This lesson presents more methods for conducting discussions with groups of students. Discussions strategies, along with the kinds of questions teachers ask, are very important in teaching, because they orchestrate the kind of thinking that students do. Interesting questions inspire interesting answers. Of course, getting 40, 50, or 60 students participating in discussions requires not only good questions but good management frameworks and teaching strategies. This core lesson and the methods that follow present all of these areas.This core lesson will highlight the Shared Inquiry Method and the Discussion Web, and will also employ the Predicting from Terms technique and the Directed Listening-Thinking Activity.
HOW TO READ THIS LESSON
As you read the following demonstration lesson, please bear in mind that its purpose is to demonstrate teaching methods (and not to teach you about Scotland or seals!). Think about this lesson in two ways:
1. Imagine that you are a student who is participating in this lesson. What is your experience? What kind of thinking are you doing? What are you learning?
2. Then think yourself into the role of the teacher who is leading the lesson. What are you doing? Why are you doing it? How are you handling the three phases of the lesson— anticipation, building knowledge, and consolidation?

LESSON

The anticipation phase is the part of the lesson that arouses students' curiosity and sets purposes for learning. Here we use the Predicting from Terms technique.

The teacher lists several terms from the story the students are about to hear, and invites student to use them to invent their own story.

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