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Friday, October 16, 2009

Application of the Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching with a Lesson on Precious Jewish Memories

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. Accordingly our mentees should know about the Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching.

Now let’s insert into the five-step Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching template a whole classroom discussion on favorite Jewish memories.

The Five Steps of the Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching



Teacher and/or Student Behavior


Get students ready to learn, and clarify the objective/s for the discussion

· Teacher gets the students ready to learn by saying, “Today we are going to discuss some of our favorite Jewish experiences.”

· Teacher identifies the objective/s for the discussion by saying, “Therefore, the objective for today’s lesson is to share one precious Jewish memory. For example, one of my poignant memories was the time...”


Focus the discussion

· Teacher provides the focus for the small group discussion by saying;
“Here’s your challenge, think of one of your precious Jewish memories, turn to your neighbor and share that memory with him or her. Then reverse roles.”


Facilitate the discussion

· Teacher invites students to share one poignant memory with the class. Students who wish to share their precious memory raise their hands, and the teacher selects the order for sharing by using the Numbers Method. See the explanation of the *Numbers Method below.


Terminate the discussion

· Teacher brings closure to the discussion saying: “Isn’t it interest to learn what different precious Jewish memories we possess?”


Reflect on the discussion

· Teacher invites students to share their thoughts and conclusions by saying, “I want you to complete this sentence stem; One thing I learned from today’s lesson is …”

*The Numbers Method

The teacher poses a question to the class. After some wait time has elapsed, e.g. 10 seconds, students raise their hands indicating that they want to share something. The teacher then assigns each class member a number identifying the order for sharing information.

On the next post we will share another whole class discussion procedure, The Discussion Ball.

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