actually meant the teacher would do most of the talking; He would throw out a couple of questions like “So what did you think about the video? ” and a few students would respond, resulting in something that like a discussion, but was ultimately just a conversation between the teacher and a handful of extroverted students; a classic case of Fisheye Teaching.The problem wasn’t them; in most of the classrooms where they’d sat as students, that’s exactly what a class discussion looked like.They didn’t know any other “formats.” I have only ever been familiar with a few myself.But when teachers began contacting me recently asking for a more comprehensive list, I knew it was time to do some serious research.So here they are: 15 formats for structuring a class discussion to make it more engaging, more organized, more equitable, and more academically challenging.If you’ve struggled to find effective ways to develop students’ speaking and listening skills, this is your lucky day. The first batch contains the higher-prep strategies, formats that require teachers to do some planning or gathering of materials ahead of time.Next come the low-prep strategies, which can be used on the fly when you have a few extra minutes or just want your students to get more active.
To watch each strategy in action, click on its name and a new window will open with a video that demonstrates it. Basic Structure: Stations or posters are set up around the classroom, on the walls or on tables.Small groups of students travel from station to station together, performing some kind of task or responding to a prompt, either of which will result in a conversation.Variations: Some Gallery Walks stay true to the term , where groups of students create informative posters, then act as tour guides or docents, giving other students a short presentation about their poster and conducting a Q&A about it.In Starr Sackstein’s high school classroom, her stations consisted of video tutorials created by the students themselves.
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