Resources for teaching academic listening, speaking and discussion.
We’re recommending that teachers use the Listening, Speaking, & Leading Rubric & Discussion Tracker to help students achieve the goal of class averages averaging a 3 out of 4 on the Listening, Speaking, & Leading Rubric.
Different Types of Discussion:
1. Partner Discussion
2. Small-Group Discussion
3. Half-Class Fish Bowl Discussion
4. Whole-Class Socratic Seminar Discussion
1. Sentence Starters
- What: Teach your students how to begin their conversations in more fruitful, effective ways by teaching them sentence starters (and reinforcing the expectation of full, respectful communication).
- When: Students can use this when discussing text, essays, and multimedia in partners, small groups, or whole-class discussions.
- Why: Sentence starters help students:
- Construct their thinking in easier-to-understand ways
- Actively listen & respond fully in spoken word
- Build trust and respect among each other
- How: Here are a number of sentence starters that teachers have taught students to use in the past + a shorter downloadable version for your students:
- Expressing agreement & building upon an idea:
- My idea is like ____’ s idea.
- My claim/ evidence is the same as _____’s.
- My thought builds upon ______’s thought.
- I agree with _______’s perspective. I also think that…
- As _____ already pointed out, it seems like…
- __________ already mentioned…., but I would like to add that….
- Expressing polite disagreement & providing evidence:
- I don’t entirely agree with ______ that…
- My opinion/ experience/ perspective is different than _____’s.
- My idea is slightly different than ______’s.
- That’s an interesting idea!
- I hadn’t thought of that!
- I see what you mean!
- Asking for clarification:
- What do you mean?
- Will you explain that again?
- I have a question about that:
- Holding the floor:
- If I could finish my thought…
- What I was trying to say was…
- The Teacher’s Guide to Leading Student-Centered Discussions: Talking about Texts in the Classroom, by Michael S. Hale & Elizabeth A. City
- Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions, by Dan Rothstein
- Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners, by Ron Ritchhart
- Academic Conversations: Classroom Talk that Fosters Critical Thinking and Content Understandings, by Jeff Zwiers
- Socratic Circles: Fostering Critical and Creative Thinking in Middle and High School, by Matt Copeland