Why Use Discussion Questions?

Written discussion is one of the ways in which teachers can assist students in building camaraderie within the course. Shy students, students with low processing speed, students with facial recognition issues, students with high anxiety levels, students with speech delays, and so on can feel especially isolated. Having written discussions helps give students a low-keyContinue reading “Why Use Discussion Questions?”

Curriculum — and What It Isn’t

Philosophy of Education   Have you got one? Why should you have one? What are the main areas? Contrary to my MA in secondary education, I don’t think this has anything to do with constructivism. That’s a pedagogical style, not a philosophy. Instead, I offer you these four contrasting ideas in tension with each other.Continue reading “Curriculum — and What It Isn’t”

Book Review: The Future of Teaching

Having read The Future of Teaching, I think I can safely say that this book joins a very short list of books I would never recommend to others. Given my past experience with reading education pundits, I should have taken the hint from the introduction, and left the book unread. Claxton is quite clear thatContinue reading “Book Review: The Future of Teaching”

algebra in 100 minutes per week

We are counting down the number of lectures in my algebra classes. Only two more left, and then my math students have an end-of-year, cumulative final exam. One question for every concept we’ve covered this year, 70-90 questions. Naturally, students are feeling a little stress. My email inbox is full, with requests for assistance onContinue reading “algebra in 100 minutes per week”

Problems and Solutions for Online, Written Discussion Questions

Problem: Students are rude to each other. Solution: Depending on the severity of the rudeness, a teacher might wish to screenshot the comment in situ, and then delete the comment. If peers have called the student to task, the teacher will need to decide whether the “public” reprimand by peers is appropriate. If not, thenContinue reading “Problems and Solutions for Online, Written Discussion Questions”

Praising Students Online

If teachers want to call out good work as a way of praising a student (the carrot is often more effective than the stick), there are several options. Use a “gold star” image as a virtual sticker in the teacher’s response to students who went above and beyond. Take note of interesting questions or responsesContinue reading “Praising Students Online”

Modeling Written, Online Discussion Questions

When students respond to each other, “I agree” or “You’re wrong” are not adequate answers. When prepping students for the assignment, teachers should remind students that if they were having a discussion with a friend, if everyone responded, “I agree!” to a statement that discussion wouldn’t last very long. Every student response requires two parts:•Continue reading “Modeling Written, Online Discussion Questions”

Adapting Reading Reconsidered’s Open Response to online teaching

In Reading Reconsidered, the authors discuss a technique called Open Response, which are slightly longer prompts that “usually ask students to refer directly to the text and use specific evidence or details. Although they can be used to CFU, they also frequently assume that students have literal comprehension of the story and are now readyContinue reading “Adapting Reading Reconsidered’s Open Response to online teaching”

Discussion Question Formats

Here is a sample discussion question format for middle school. Choose one:• Watch this video. Write a one-paragraph summary.• Read this article. What real-life situation can apply to . Draw up the situation and either post your image or type your answer.• Do a hands-on project. Show your work! Analyze the results for cause andContinue reading “Discussion Question Formats”

Common Online Assignments

In a given week teachers should ensure that students access the same content multiple times but in different ways, strengthening learning. Reading, writing, taking notes, completing diagrams, practicing problems, memorizing critical vocabulary, doing hands-on projects, participating in class discussions, taking quizzes—all of these work together to help etch the content into the student’s brain. TeachersContinue reading “Common Online Assignments”