Getting Students to Participate: Encouraging Discussion in the Classroom

Getting Students to Participate: Encouraging Discussion

The other day a new teacher approached me and asked how I encourage student participation / open discussions in the classroom. I guess I was taken aback as I had never really thought about this before.    

As we sat down I quickly began to realize how eager I was to explore this topic. I welcomed the opportunity to take a closer look at – to reflect upon – a little of what I do here every day.

Cheers,
Ally

Encouraging Discussion in the Classroom:

  • Create a seating plan that encourages discussion, e.g. in a circle, a horseshoe or sitting in a circle on the carpet.
  • Choose interesting topics – topics that speak to students.
  • Ask open ended questions.
  • Allow for processing time – introduce the topics/questions “ahead of time” & then afford students the opportunity to think, reflect, jot notes, write, etc.  before beginning the discussion.
  • Afford students the opportunity to discuss the topic/concept with a friend or in small groups firstthen engage in a whole group discussions.
  • Create an environment in which students are leaders and teachers are facilitators.
  • Establish/review the ground rules prior to discussions.
  • Create an active, organic, respectful, exciting and encouraging environment.

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2 responses to “Getting Students to Participate: Encouraging Discussion in the Classroom

  1. >Great list. These are all great ways to encourage students to participate in discussion!

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