Question Detail

What are some strategies for the first time you set norms for classroom discussions in middle school?

Jun 15, 2017 8:38pm

In science and in middle school, classroom talk and discourse is very important to student learning. i feel as though the environment must be set at the beginning of the year in order to successfully develop it in future science investigations. My struggle has been with developing ideas of how to practice it FIRST in a fun and meaningful way and model expectations ?I have seen talk stems, talk moves, etc...but how do you actually DO IT FOR THE FIRST TIME to 7th graders without making it too childish for them? Any ideas or strategies would be so very much appreciated.

  • Science
  • 6-9
  • Behavior / Class Culture


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    • Jun 27, 2017 1:27am

      I use think pair share. I would start with something simple, like some photographs that tell something about me (a picture from my wedding day, my dog, my favorite book, etc.). I show the first picture and model with a student how to discuss the picture and what the picture tells about me. Then I show the second picture and have the students practice discussing in pairs as I walk around, monitor, and listen in. I give the signal to come back together as a group and have students share out. Then repeat with the following photographs. While teaching the expectations for think pair share, the students are also learning about their new teacher.
      You can then repeat the activity for introducing class rules. Teach the first rule and then have the students explain the rule to their partner. Repeat for the following rules.

      • Jun 26, 2017 6:46pm

        Thank you! I like the ideas you had to incorporate introductions and class procedures with the discourse procedure.