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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Group Discussion with a Timer: An Interactive Method to Facilitate A Classroom or Small Group Discussion

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.

One interactive method to facilitate a classroom or small group discussion is Group Discussion with a Timer. An explanation of the rules for engagement follows:

Group Discussion with a Timer

The teacher poses a question or problem to the class. Each member is given time (e.g. 30 seconds) to compose a response to the teacher’s question. Each student is then given a period of time (e.g. 60 seconds) to share his or her response with the class. The teacher selects a student to serve as a timekeeper to let each speaker know when the designated time has elapsed.

On the next post we will discuss instructional methods to empower students to generate their own questions for classroom discussion.

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