Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Engaging With Literature: A Workshop for Teachers, Grades 3-5

About This Workshop

Asking Questions: An Interactive Guide
1. Foundations

2. Looking at Literature

3. Starting Classroom Conversations

4. Classroom Dialogues

Introduction »

Key Points »

Learning Objectives »

Background Reading »

Homework »

Classroom Connection

Teacher Reflection »

Ongoing Activity »

Additional Reading »

5. Using Art and Other Disciplines To Enrich Classroom Conversations

6. Beginning the Year

7. Many Students: Many Voices and Abilities

8. Reacting to Students' Work

9. The Professional Teacher

Site Map

Workshop 4. Classroom Dialogues

Classroom Connection

Bileni Teklu monitors a whole group discussion in her classroom. Student Activities

Try these activities with your students.
  • Because some students confuse recitation—exchanges used by teachers to assess learning—with discussion, you may wish to probe the understandings of your class. The Attitude Survey (PDF) included in this program can help you do so.

  • Choose a book to read aloud that will engage your students. Read, stopping at an emotionally charged moment. Ask them to respond in writing to what they have heard. After they have had several minutes to write, invite them to share their thoughts, first with a partner and then with the whole class. After the first student has shared, ask, "Does anyone have something that connects to what X has just said?" When you feel the conversation has run its course, stop and ask students to reflect on the discussion and the effect(s) of making connections to earlier comments. Suggest that they take this strategy to their small-group discussions.

  • Offer mini-lessons in which you discuss effective conversational strategies and teach students how to apply them to their discussions. You may wish to refer to Conversation Strategies: Mini-Lesson Suggestions (PDF).

  • Tracking Student Contributions to Discussion (PDF) is included in this program to help you monitor student participation in discussion.

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