This term my teaching inquiry has been focussed on eliciting rich discussion from my learners and supporting them to justify their answers. I have been focussing on this across the curriculum and I have found new ways to promote discussion in different areas.
In reading I have been using a mixture of reciprocal and guided reading all year. My students are now able to follow the reciprocal reading cycle in their groups without my support, and they can engage in great discussion. However, I have used guided reading alongside this to probe the students for deeper responses; to make inferences and judgements about the text. I also encourage my students to use the text to justify their answers during this time.
In writing I have utilised peer feedback to get my students discussing their writing more often. I also use language experiences and text analysis at the start of the year, so that they discuss their ideas before they put them to paper. The use of text analysis has been able to generate some good discussion between learners, as the students discuss their interpretations in small groups before sharing their ideas with a larger group.
I have also started writing short stories for my class, so they can watch my writing process and offer me feedback and editing advice. My students must then interpret the story that I have written, as I always leave a hidden message in between the lines. This has been a wonderful way to support their inferencing skills, to make judgements and to determine the authors purpose for writing.
In maths I have been using the problem solving approach which requires a lot of discussion between the learners, as they must work in groups to solve a word problem. To support the students to improve their ability to discuss their thoughts, I have began to use talking frames with them. I believe that this will have a great impact on their discussion skills.