This video shows a variety of strategies in action for challenging students to learn and do more than they think they can. Featured teachers encourage students to persist in the face of challenge, embrace learning struggles, explain their thinking, and push themselves and each other toward deeper learning. Educators also demonstrate the importance of building relationships, promoting active engagement, and supporting students in taking ownership of their learning.
In this article, the author makes a strong case for the value of student-driven discussions and offers helpful guidance about how to cultivate a classroom climate where students feel safe and motivated to participate. She argues for investing time in laying the groundwork for classroom discussion as a prerequisite for inviting students to share thoughts and opinions as part of the learning process and offers practical strategies for doing so.
This simple, accessible classroom routine engages students in learning by inviting silent inquiry and reflection about a text, video, or other instructional materials prior to active participation in discussion. The protocol, which can be adapted for use in a variety of teaching contexts, supports students in contributing their ideas and opinions as well as listening openly to the thoughts and views of others.
This article articulates several instructional uses for a versatile discussion strategy that facilitates interaction and promotes thinking by providing structured opportunities for students both to speak and to listen to each other as they engage with ideas and materials. It outlines steps for setting up a fishbowl, including establishing clear expectations for participation and reviewing discussion norms to ensure all ideas and views are treated with respect.
This resource describes instructional practices and strategies that foster engaging and challenging learning experiences for all students. These practices include promoting discussion, collaboration, and higher order thinking, as well as clarifying expectations and highlighting relevance. Recommendations address the value of incorporating student perspectives and the importance of considering classroom diversity along a variety of dimensions when designing instruction.
This article with embedded videos offers guidance in facilitating student discussions that promote learning. The article explains the value of norms and protocols in ensuring that academic discussions are respectful and productive. The videos illustrate a variety of examples of teaching strategies that help students effectively engage in academic discussions to deepen understanding, such as establishing norms, coaching students in using talk moves, and employing a fishbowl protocol.
This classroom activity, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, engages students in broadening and deepening their perspectives by inviting them to literally and figuratively take a stand on a debatable issue, explain their positions, and consider other viewpoints. The routine describes several steps to ensure smooth implementation, including establishing a student contract to maintain a safe and respectful learning environment.
In this two-part video, a teacher describes and demonstrates how her students explore and analyze differing perspectives using a variety of primary sources. The video aptly illustrates how the teacher probes student thinking and students ground their statements in evidence from complex texts as they engage in turn and talk, class discussion, and other interactive activities.
In this brief interview, a research scientist explains the negative impact of stress and punitive disciplinary measures on students and urges teachers to use preventive restorative practices with all students. The approach described helps to foster students' self-management skills and build a greater sense of community in order to cultivate an emotionally safe learning environment.
This article explains the benefits of facilitating classroom discussion and offers a variety of strategies for ensuring that student conversation promotes learning, that everyone participates, and that student perspectives are respected. The authors discuss the importance of classroom talk for English language learners, and they provide practical tips for managing small group discussions so that expectations are clear, time is used productively, and distractions are minimized.
This article explains the value of cooperative learning and articulates techniques for making it work successfully. The author outlines helpful suggestions for designing lessons that set students up to work together effectively, and he provides practical strategies for ensuring that cooperative learning time is productive and that collaboration promotes learning among all participants.
This classroom routine, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, promotes student discussion and helps to establish a climate of safety and respect. Students journal to clarify their own views about a controversial topic, then discuss their individual views in small groups, listening carefully to each other in order to understand the perspectives of their peers, and then share ideas with the larger group.
This article describes how to create a class contract in order to establish a classroom climate where students feel respected, valued, and emotionally safe when sharing their views and offering differing perspectives. It includes recommendations for engaging students productively and collaboratively in developing shared expectations for a "reflective classroom community."
In this video, a teacher describes and demonstrates how she uses dialogue circles to cultivate an emotionally safe learning environment and respond to students’ social and emotional needs in order to help them stay focused on achieving their full potential. The accompanying article suggests strategies for using circles to build positive relationships with and among students and foster respectful, on-task classroom behavior.
This teacher's blog post explains how she uses Talking Circles in a variety of ways to build relationships, establish a safe and respectful learning environment, and check for understanding. She describes how she establishes norms and how she uses circles weekly in her advisory meeting and during her reading instruction, in addition to using them for restorative purposes to support students in managing their behavior and being accountable to their community.
In this video and accompanying article, educators discuss the importance of speaking in students' lives and demonstrate how they provide regular opportunities for students to talk about their ideas as part of the learning process in a variety of contexts. They share helpful strategies for engaging students in communication that promotes learning, including discussion roles and guidelines, grouping configurations, and instructional supports.
This resource describes teaching practices and strategies that promote a safe and respectful classroom culture in which all students can thrive. These practices include building positive relationships with students as well as establishing and reinforcing shared expectations for student behavior and interactions. Recommendations address the value of building community and the importance of considering student diversity along a variety of dimensions when designing the classroom environment.
This book excerpt identifies strategies for establishing a classroom culture where students feel intellectually and emotionally safe and view challenges and mistakes as opportunities for learning. It explains how building a safe learning environment is key to cultivating a growth mindset, which helps students persevere to meet learning challenges, and also to checking for understanding, which works best if students are comfortable expressing their learning struggles as well as their successes.
In this article, a teacher describes how she worked with students to implement, monitor, and adjust procedures to support focused student collaboration in her classroom. She tells the real story of a her efforts over time to help students become more productive in small group work, including bumps in the road and course corrections.
This thinking routine invites students to confer with each other about an open-ended, higher-order question to clarify and consolidate their ideas. The teacher poses a question and asks students to think about their responses individually, then explain their thinking to their partners, and finally share with the whole class. This classic protocol, which can be used in any teaching context, ensures that every student has the opportunity to reflect on and respond to a question.
This cooperative learning strategy actively engages students in conferring with each other in small groups with distributed expertise so that each student's contribution is essential to consolidating the group's understanding of a multi-faceted topic. While it requires some prior organization of students and materials, this teaching technique is great for building interdependence and fostering substantive learning interactions among students.
This article articulates methods for cultivating productive classroom conversation and establishing a climate that encourages participation. It offers helpful guidance on establishing and maintaining conversation norms, as well as a variety of practical strategies for managing participation, including what to model and practice for each.
This classroom routine, which can be used in a variety of instructional contexts, supports students in exploring and discussing different viewpoints on a given topic. It invites students to take on different personas and engages them in thinking deeply to understand different perspectives and their implications.