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  Workshop 7: Controversial Public Policy Issues  
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Workshop 7

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Teacher Perspectives: Timing issues

JoEllen Ambrose: I like 85-minute periods because you can teach with an interactive method and at the same time pull out of them what you wanted them to accomplish and wrap it up.

Sometimes, when I’ve done [the structured controversy], and I could tell that they were done talking, I’ve shortened [debate periods]. Instead of three minutes, it’s two minutes. I have found that if you leave them in the middle of a sentence, they still have a momentum that takes them through the whole activity. If they end up with a whole extra minute and they’re looking at each other, they’re going off-task, and you’re not going to bring them back.

I was surprised that the [consensus] activity was only [supposed] to take five minutes. I believe [it was] at least 20 minutes before they had a consensus, and I think some of them are still thinking about it.


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