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Tips for Effective Discussions

This page features suggestions from other teachers
on what they do to refine discussions in their classrooms.

Feel free to offer yours:
contact Katherine L. Schlick Noe

Lori Scobie's Keys to Successful Discussions in Room 14 (2nd - 4th grade)
  • Groups of 4 - 5 are optimal
  • Having a conversation does not come naturally
  • Have signals for "too noisy", "time to begin", etc.
  • Practice getting into and out of the circle A LOT
  • Trust that they'll talk even if I'm not hovering
  • Have books worth talking about
  • Always reflect after a discussion
  • Rejoice in the small steps students take
  •  Remember this is hard -- even for adults

  • When they start to get it, they're empowered!  Literature starts to come alive for them in new ways.  It's worth the hard work and patience.

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    © 2004 Katherine L. Schlick Noe
    College of Education
    Seattle University