The Stenhouse Blog

Make Classroom Conversations Meaningful

Posted by admin on Dec 3, 2019 11:55:36 AM

It wasn’t easy, but your students are now talking in the classroom. So now how can you make sure that the conversations they’re having are meaningful and productive? Here are some resources to help you take classroom conversations to the next level and give your students the power of effective communication.

Talk blog

Make Math Debatable

High school math teacher and debate coach Chris Luzniak longed to see his math students as empowered and engaged as the students on his debate team, so he began incorporating debate structures and techniques into his math classes. In Up for Debate!: Exploring Math Through Argument, Chris shares stories, examples, and step-by-step routines that will help you build a classroom culture where students do the talking, explain their thinking, and critique each other’s reasoning, all in the context of the math content you're expected to teach.

Foster Critical Thinking with Academic Conversations

In his newest book, Next Steps with Academic Conversations, Jeff Zwiers builds on the original ideas of Academic Conversations (2011) by offering an updated synthesis of conversation work across disciplines and grade levels. Jeff addresses questions that have emerged during his work with educators and new classroom strategies and practices for fostering and assessing classroom conversations. Jeff, an educational researcher at Stanford University, has spent the last 15 years analyzing classroom conversations to see how they can be better used and improved in classroom settings. Teachers who have worked with him report significant growth in students’ engagement, content learning, language, creativity, and sense of agency.

Learn How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations

In his book Not Light, But Fire, author and educator, Matthew R. Kay, shows you how to prepare a classroom environment that is ready for mindful classroom conversations about race. Through modeled structures, and shared discussions, Matthew coaches educators to hone their conversational practice and design dialogic curriculum about race that they can take back to their classrooms. With the right blend of reflection and humility, teachers can make school one of the best venues for young people to discuss race.

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