Deep Learning Strategy: Relationship in and among contents. Deep learning is when students consolidate their understanding and apply and extend some surface learning knowledge to support deeper conceptual understanding.
Deep Learning can only be accomplished when students have the requisite knowledge to go deeper"
(Hattie, Fisher and Frey (Visible Learning for Mathematics, 2017)).
About Classroom Discussion
With a 0.82 effect size, a student has the potential of two years academic growth in half the time.
Classroom discussion is another critical area of Hattie’s study with a huge effect size. Classroom discussions provide the opportunity for students to communicate with one another for a variety of functions including to:
Activate prior knowledge
Explore new topics,
Learn from others, and
Demonstrate their learning
This is an engagement strategy which provides all students the chance to participate, especially when structured in a way that extends beyond a teacher-student question and answer sequence.
The main benefit of classroom discussion is that YOU, as the teacher, can use class discussion as a source of data to adapt instruction.
Why Use Classroom Discussion
Students engaging in classroom discussions see the benefits of:
How It Works
“I use classroom discussion to capture what a student has learned for that lesson. I can see what they knew or didn’t know."
"Class discussions can also be sources of rich, qualitative data—data that allow teachers to understand the thinking of their students more closely and determine if there are information processing errors that need instructional intervention, the more immediate the better.
When students are instructed to discuss what they are learning, teachers can listen to gauge the depth of what they know and, if that understanding proves too shallow, expand or challenge their thinking before moving forward" (Source: Lessons from John Hattie)
What Do You Think?
"Virtually all text-based learning should be punctuated with—and then culminate in—focused talk, sometimes in pairs and at other times in extended full-class discussions or debates. All teachers should be able to instruct students in how to speak clearly, audibly, logically, and with civility.
When I do demonstration lessons, it is often apparent to me that students aren't learning these essential communication skills, which rank at the top of what employers want (Gewertz, 2018 as cited by Mike Schmoker (2019)). (Read more)
How do YOU get students excited about discussing text in your classroom conversations?
Approach #1: Talk Read, Talk Write (TRTW)
Make a Wakelet Collection
Create a Wakelet that has your Check-In Conversation strategy. This strategy enables “students to share their thoughts, questions, annotations about the text.” Wakelet’s ability to handle a wide variety of media makes this a a nice canvas where students can do that in response to your list of pre-made questions. See my example link.
Approach #2: Think, Pair, Share
Approach #3: Think, Puzzle, Explore
In her blog on Sparking Student Curiosity, Michelle Lucas outlines several approaches she uses as a science educator. One of the approaches that she mentioned intrigued me. That strategy is Think-Puzzle-Explore. Elements of the approach include:
What do you think you know about this topic?
What questions or puzzles do you have?
How can you explore this topic? (Source: Visible Thinking)
This serves as a tangible way to capture data needed to successfully use classroom discussion. Now, due to Wakelet’s two-by-two grid limits, you are unable to create a Think-Puzzle-Explore that flows landscape on a page. Instead, students can group their ideas one under the other.
Approach #4: Thoughts, Questions, or Epiphanies
In her blog entry, The Unlimited Teacher (Marisa E. Thompson) shares the TQE process:
Small Group Discussions as students entered the room
Share question stems (shown right) for students as needed
Students start with stems on the left but progress to more difficult ones after teacher modeling
Students post their top two of each TQE by the end of 15 minutes:
Class Discussion of TQEs