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Once your students are comfortable with the short exchange of ideas during turn-and-talk and with longer partner discussions, it’s the ideal time to introduce and practice small group discussions that students lead. Such discussions develop students’ engagement and motivation to read especially when they compose discussion questions and take turns using prompts that maintain the momentum of the discussion.
When groups of four to six students have 10-20 minute discussions, they practice teamwork, critical thinking, clarifying ideas and communicating them to peers. They also learn to:
- Become active listeners who respond to what other students say;
- Agree or disagree with a partner in a respectful manner
- Be a contributing participant in the discussion
- Refine and improve their use of language
- Move from literal interpretations to critical analysis
- Value the interpretation of a peer even when it differs from their ideas
- Use text details and inferences to support their thinking
- Observe and learn how others process and interpret information
On-Your-Feet Guides (OYFGs) provide you with the ultimate “cheat sheet” to implement effective change in your classroom while in the moment of teaching. Designed for accessibility, and providing step-by-step guidance, the OYFGs are written by experts who take research-based practices and make them doable for the busy teacher.
Each On-Your-Feet Guide is laminated, 8.5”x11” tri-fold (6 pages), and 3-hole punched.
Use the On-Your-Feet Guides
• When you know the “what” but need help with the “how”
• As a quick reference to support a practice you learned in a PD workshop or book
• To learn how to implement foundational practices
• When you want to help your students learn a specific strategy, routine, or approach, but aren’t sure how to do it yourself