This chapter gave many good examples of how to facilitate good classroom discussions. While reading this I kept thinking about my practicum and how they have discussions and debates regularly. My teacher is fairly free when teaching and lets the students speak up whenever they want. He usually never has problems asking for them to share their opinions because they all have something to say. When going over the lesson for today it’s almost a guarantee that one student will say something that starts a discussion. The students are pretty opinionated and they argue with each other regularly. I think my cooperating teacher does a good job of facilitating the discussion. He always lets them voice their opinion and talk through what they want to say, but if things get out of hand he isn’t afraid to shut them down. This also helps the students learn the subject material because they get to talk through their questions and give examples.
I liked how Larson and Keiper went into detail about the six types of structure for engaging students in discussions. While I think these are good examples of how to facilitate discussion I don’t know how well they work for each grade level. For example using electronic threaded discussion in my classroom hasn’t been very successful. Sometimes my cooperating teacher will have the students use their chrome books to anonymously answer questions. Because the answers don’t show their names often times the students answers are very short or off topic. Using this type of discussion is hard for younger students because they are too immature to handle it. I think if I were in a higher-level class it would work much differently and be effective. However, I wouldn’t recommend using electronic threaded discussion with younger students.
It is important for teachers to facilitate classroom discussions.