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small group work

Balancing direct instruction and group work

Hello colleagues, In a recent blog, Lisa Westman references educational researcher, John Hattie, who has noted "that direct instruction done correctly has a greater impact on student learning than group work done incorrectly. Direct instruction is effective when the teacher instructs in short segments, with frequent checks for understanding and opportunities for students to process, practice, and receive feedback." Westman goes on to discuss ways to balance direct instruction and group work.

Classroom Talk is Essential!

Hello colleagues, I have long believed that talk should play a key role in reading and writing instruction. I love this quote by James Britton. "Reading and writing float on a sea of talk." While whole class discussion is valuable, I think it is important for us teachers to structure opportunities for pairs and small groups to talk about what they are reading and writing.

How do you support student to student conversations about the content they are studying?

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP

How do we create a "thinking" classroom?

Hello colleagues, Peter Liljedahl, upon visiting an 8th grade math class, concluded that the students in the class were NOT engaged in thinking! These students had been given a complex problem to solve (e.g., this "Lewis Carroll problem ... If 6 cats can kill 6 rats in 6 minutes, how many will be needed to kill 100 rats in 50 minutes?). Most of the students  were unable to solve the problem and were eager to give up.

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