Teaching Strategy of the Week:
A Silent Debate is a great way to improve the writing/communication skills of students. It helps them to realize that it is important to be very clear with what they are saying and also learn how to present logical arguments. This is very similar to an oral debate except that it is silent. The students pair up and the teacher assigns one person to take the pro side and the other takes the con side. They do not get to choose. The pro goes first. Each pair has one paper and one pencil between them. A topic is given to the students. The pro writes it down and then makes a statement, in writing, in support of the topic. Then the con reads the statement and responds to the statement or makes a comment against the topic. This goes on, back and forth, until everyone has had three or four chances to respond. Remember the topic must be a statement and not a question.
- One is “pro,” the other “con.”
- Each pair has one pencil and one sheet of paper.
- A topic is given, the pro goes first.
- The pro makes a supportive statement in writing.
- The con reads the statement and then writes a comment against the topic.
- The process repeats three or four times.
Reading of the Week:
“Stimulating and Sustaining Inquiry with Students’ Questions”
“It is crucial that students in the twenty-first century learn how to formulate and use questions, drive their own inquiries, and apply question formulation skills in their everyday lives. Students’ ability to formulate questions can help support learning both within and outside the classroom and is foundational for promoting democratic thinking and civic engagement beyond the classroom.”
Which includes six easy to follow steps of the Question Formulation Technique, with even more resources available from the Right Question Institute.
[Source: Social Education]
Digital Tool of the Week:
Graphic Organizers Galore!
[Source: Ditch that Textbook - Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom]