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  • Learning Styles
    Silence Rephrase Questions Checking for Understanding Avoid Yes No Students Own Words Students Reflect Using Quizzes Sample Discussion Plan Goal One Transition Goal Two Goal Three Print Friendly Page Authors Contributors Learning Styles Accommodate various learning styles When building classroom community consider the various ways in which your students learn There are students who can remember everything covered in a class discussion while others need visuals to reinforce concepts Some

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/discussions/styles.cfm (2015-10-15)
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  • Emphasis on Students' Ideas
    Using Quizzes Sample Discussion Plan Goal One Transition Goal Two Goal Three Print Friendly Page Authors Contributors Emphasis on Students Ideas Since one of our goals is to facilitate the writing process keep the emphasis on students ideas rather than your own It s best to remain mostly objective on thematic issues discussed in class If students pick up on your views they may attempt to only write what they

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/discussions/students.cfm (2015-10-15)
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  • Be Honest
    t Fear Silence Rephrase Questions Checking for Understanding Avoid Yes No Students Own Words Students Reflect Using Quizzes Sample Discussion Plan Goal One Transition Goal Two Goal Three Print Friendly Page Authors Contributors Be Honest Validate students comments but be honest Some instructors find themselves so excited when students participate that they don t want to discourage them by offering criticism These instructors have been known to offer comments like that s great when a student misinterprets a text or provides an incorrect answer Although it isn t easy to criticize students comments it s important to provide such criticism so that other students don t become confused about important concepts Keep in mind that providing criticism doesn t need to be awful and humiliating There are tactful ways to give an honest response while still rewarding a student for participating in a discussion For example you could say to the student who gets off track That s a really interesting point but I m not sure how it directly addresses the question we re looking at Could you help me understand the connection In this case the student will either offer more explanation or admit that there was no

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/discussions/honest.cfm (2015-10-15)
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  • Focusing Discussions
    Plan Goal One Transition Goal Two Goal Three Print Friendly Page Authors Contributors Focusing Discussions Regardless of the type of discussion you re having one of your most important goals should be to keep class discussions on track You ll want students to participate but sometimes their participation can lead you astray Picture this During a discussion about urban sprawl you ask What are your views on urban sprawl A student raises her hand and says I don t like sprawl because it keeps me from riding my horse on what used to be country roads Another student then jumps in and says Did you know that dog food is made out of horses Then another student exclaims Oh gross And another adds I like dogs more than horses So what do you do There is no single method that will work for everyone when focusing a discussion Much depends on your personal teaching style and your classroom community Still we believe that the suggestions below will help you think about ways to refocus discussions in your class If you are an instructor who values a student centered classroom please note that focusing a discussion doesn t mean forfeiting student

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/discussions/focus.cfm (2015-10-15)
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  • Carefully Planning
    No Students Own Words Students Reflect Using Quizzes Sample Discussion Plan Goal One Transition Goal Two Goal Three Print Friendly Page Authors Contributors Carefully Planning Carefully plan out your lesson The instructor who knows what he she needs to accomplish in class is less likely to become distracted than the one who doesn t If you are confident in your plans you will probably see that the goals for a

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/discussions/plan.cfm (2015-10-15)
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  • Goal Oriented Questions
    Questions Stay on Topic Encourage Student Focus Focus with WTL Thinking on the Spot Be Prepared Plan Ahead Learn to Stall Be Honest Don t Fear Silence Rephrase Questions Checking for Understanding Avoid Yes No Students Own Words Students Reflect Using Quizzes Sample Discussion Plan Goal One Transition Goal Two Goal Three Print Friendly Page Authors Contributors Goal Oriented Questions When planning questions for discussion see that your questions meet particular goals If you know what your objectives for a class discussion are you ll probably guide students toward these objectives If your questions are less thought out and only aimed at getting students to talk then the discussion is likely to feel unfocused There are times when an unfocused discussion can be useful i e when generating ideas on topics to write about but if too many discussions are floating students will begin to wonder how these discussions connect to their writing When planning questions for discussion consider how you ll need to shape your questions to help students meet the goals for writing in each unit See the sample at the end of this guide for an example on how to write focused questions to meet particular goals

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/discussions/goals.cfm (2015-10-15)
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  • Stay on Topic
    Students Reflect Using Quizzes Sample Discussion Plan Goal One Transition Goal Two Goal Three Print Friendly Page Authors Contributors Stay on Topic Don t allow unrelated questions to throw you off track Tell the student who asks for his class average during a lesson that he ll have to come and talk with you during office hours Whenever students raise concerns that are unrelated to the task at hand it

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/discussions/topic.cfm (2015-10-15)
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  • Encourage Students' Focus
    Discussions Carefully Plan Goals of Questions Stay on Topic Encourage Student Focus Focus with WTL Thinking on the Spot Be Prepared Plan Ahead Learn to Stall Be Honest Don t Fear Silence Rephrase Questions Checking for Understanding Avoid Yes No Students Own Words Students Reflect Using Quizzes Sample Discussion Plan Goal One Transition Goal Two Goal Three Print Friendly Page Authors Contributors Encourage Students Focus Encourage students to offer comments that are related to the question you re addressing Try not to reward the student who says irrelevant things by giving them too much attention In response to the example from the introduction there are various approaches you could try You might use some humor to refocus the conversation i e As interesting as dog food is to us all we need to address the issue at hand Or you might try a firmer approach i e I m not sure how these responses relate to the question I m asking Try not to encourage irrelevant comments with responses like Why do you think you like dogs more than horses You may have a lively discussion but it won t necessarily improve students writing Tweet HELP SITE INDEX ABOUT THIS

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/discussions/encourage.cfm (2015-10-15)
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