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Just to go along with what we all talked about yesterday in class...


How can we make sure our students have an equal chance to be heard in our classroom?
How can we encourage those who get bored with classroom discussion and classmates' comments to still be involved and voice their opinion?
Will we even be able to get through to these students who refuse to participate? Is it then just a behavioral issue and not necessarily deal with the class discussions?

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Dani Martin


Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:13 pm
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Dani,

I thought I'd bump this as it would be a particularly sad topic to start, and then have it ignored! :oops:

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Gayle Turner


Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:27 pm
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I think it all comes down to the classroom environment. If you have created a place where ideas are shared and developed as a group, then students are going to have no trouble in sharing their ideas with the class. A classroom where each student becomes aware that they have a voice and the impact that sharing their voice can have on others will foster great discussions. I plan to begin to get my students involved in the classroom conversation on the first day of school. Having students share information about themselves such as their favorite subject in school and pushing them to start answering questions that explain WHY this is their favorite subject will get students to start critically thinking about what they say. This can easily lead into what students want to get out of this year, and what they dread. By getting this information out in the open you will immediately learn which students are going to need other outlets for their ideas and boredom issues. Students will also have a chance in this conversation to play off of each other's ideas. This is a great topic to help students learn to respect one another's ideas and understand that there is not always only one right answer to questions which is why it is important that if they agree or disagree it helps for them to share their opinion.

I always got bored with classroom discussions and still do in classes now. Many of my teachers worked out outlets for my boredom, such as doing puzzles or coloring/playing with sillyputty in order to give me something to focus my energy on which in turn got me to participate a lot more because I could listen to everyone instead of focusing on the clock or the random noises in the classroom. If the classroom discussion is set up in a comfortable way, students won't think they are being questioned and will be more likely to share.

I know this is a lot, and I'm NO expert. I've seen these examples of first day of school ideas work in a couple of different classroom settings grades ranging K-4. I think this is a great topic to discuss and one that will be a daily part of teaching.

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Katie Tyndall


Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:55 pm
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I think that knowing what you dont like, meaning knowing what you dont support or like to hear, and understanding that that student has the right to have an opinion that is against yours. I think a lot of time we stop listening when its something that we dont support. So by knowing how you feel on certain topics, and understanding that you should still respect that student and their opinion, you will go far. Now there are some exceptions, I would have trouble supporting a student with very racists, or gender problems, or something like that with out questioning them further. But overall, understanding what we dont like to hear, will help us become better listeners.

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Jerry Nicole Whitener (Nicole)


Sun Nov 16, 2008 1:41 pm
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I think it's important to continually encourage students to share their opinions, thoughts, feelings, knowledge, etc. on whatever topic is being discussed in class. Some ways to encourage that is to ask students directly or allow students to come up with questions to ask each other if they aren't comfortable sharing their own thoughts.

I also think it's important to respect the fact that not everyone is going to agree or disagree on any given topic/discussion. I think we can be quick to stop listening because we don't agree. I believe that it is possible for you to respect someone's opinion/stance on a topic without agreeing with it.

Good questions Dani! : )

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April Wilkinson


Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:11 pm
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