Reflection: Shared Expectations Well, what do YOU want to talk about? Student-Generated Talk Topics about Tangerine (1-120) - Section 4: Second Chances


There are two elements in this lesson that can be a little risky:  First, the students come up with the questions.  Second, I give them a "second chance" to participate, even if they don't do so appropriately in my chosen forum.

Both choices reflect my own belief that the classroom should be a space where students can -- sometimes -- learn the things that they really "want" to know.  Student choice and allowing student-generated and -managed discussions to take place affirms the fact that the student should be a the center of the learning.  That's key.  Do they ask dumb questions?  Yes, sometimes, and for different reasons.  Sometimes, the student doesn't ask the question that he or she meant to ask.  And, sometimes the student is trying to be cute or funny or to cover up that he or she has not read or prepared, as prescribed.  These are not good reasons to ditch student focused discussions.  Instead, both situations provide teachers with opportunities to coach and even react in a way that shows the class what the expectations really are.

As for the second chance option...While I prefer an engaged, and even a little rowdy, discussion, some students just can't get into the mix.  They are too shy or they process information too slowly to make effective contributions.  My rule is, you have to try.  You have to go into the inner circle and say something.  For some, that takes a few attempts.  It may take until winter break until a student has a breakthrough.  Until then, they have a safety net.  More anxiety does not equal better performance.

  Who's the boss?
  Shared Expectations: Who's the boss?
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Well, what do YOU want to talk about? Student-Generated Talk Topics about Tangerine (1-120)

Unit 10: Tangerine, by Edward Bloor
Lesson 3 of 6

Objective: SWBAT develop and discuss text-dependent questions about the first section of Tangerine.

Big Idea: Student-developed questions + teacher-developed structure = everyone talks!

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4 teachers like this lesson
English / Language Arts, Reading, symbolism (Literary Terms), novel, story elements, character development
  55 minutes
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