U1 Day 1-2: PD Discussion Topic


I will probably start with getting students to establish discussion guidelines using pair/share techniques. Using this then talk about the best approach for that class. I will let students help setup and control room setup based on their responses.
We will then look at the initial question and using small groups and leading out to class discussion using some type of visual output from each group. We might even look at what the internet says are computers.


I will be locked into a computer lab seating structure. I’m planning on utilizing Think-Pair-Share often, and can mix it up by altering the direction of sharing. This will be a new classroom for me, so I will have to explore different techniques that will encourage participation and keep discussions interesting. I like the idea of using 3x5 cards for anonymous participation.


In the face to face PD the facilitators modeled several ways to mix up the groups. Until now I have been regrouping the students in my classes at the start of each quarter. After going through the PD, I am planning to change groups more frequently.

Also, I really like the post by Matthew Huffine. He’s listed a couple of great resources and has some very practical guidelines that he uses in his classes. I plan by starting my class by leading a conversation to establish norms for discussion as a group.


My class room is not set up with open sapce. I find discussions work best if I have them work in pairs initially.


I will facilitate discussion on this topic initially by either a journal entry or posting this a discussion topic on our LMS. This will allow students to not only think through and reflect on their own ideas, but also compare their thoughts with their classmates. Giving them this option first will provide them with time to solidify some of their ideas before communicating them verbally in class. I will also post videos and other resources provided for this lesson to help students stimulate their thoughts and provide a framework for thinking about this topic. One useful resource that can be used with videos is: https://www.educanon.com. This tool allows teachers to embed questions throughout a video. Video will pause so students can respond to questions embedded by intstructor (you). Go here for further details: https://www.educanon.com/tutorial


I will begin by having the class define “What is a computer?” (Think-Pair-Share)

Then, in groups, using the class’ definition, identify the computers in the class/school/home/workplace.

Share & Discuss as a class.


I have always asked a “DO NOW” question as bell work, students normally do this on their own in their for the first 5-10 minutes of class. Afterwards, we share out our thoughts. I always share out my own personal thoughts as well. I find that this helps to engage students and makes the topic less scary for students.
For this first discussion I am still unsure whether I am going to do this in my classroom or the lab across from my room ( I am lucky enough to have the option) I am for sure going to be using the Women as the computer - this would make for a great debatable point as to whether a human brain is a computer or not. ( we had this debate in our own PD)


I love the do now idea but also see the benefit of anonymous communications. This could develop confidence in people and over time create more willingness to participate.


I’m thinking about delaying the start of the curriculum for a few days and starting off with team building, ice breaker type games.


I’m planning to open a discussion forum using Google Docs to share opinions. I can monitor participation and exchange opinions with my students. My students already know how to share information in Google Docs.


I have adhered to the model for the lesson shown during the ECS phase 1 PD and the class has gone well. I’ve also had the students add their counts and an explanation for their counts into a shared Google doc. This was a pretty lively part of the lesson.


The first couple of days I never start right into my curriculum because there is generally a lot of interruptions with class meetings, and schedule changes etc. So I thought I would start by setting my own expectations for students in this class with an emphasis on equity in the classroom. I found some cartoons that I thought I would evenly distribute out, and give them time to journal their thoughts and ideas about the cartoon, then allow them to discuss in groups of 3-4. Then I thought I would pull up these pic on the smart board and allow a classroom discussion on it. With remaining 10-15 minutes I would pose the question " when I am in this class, what does equity look like to me? What makes me feel like I am valued and what doesn’t ? I will then open up the rest of the time for any questions or comments. This will give the students value in their thoughts and concerns and hopefully open dialogue tomorrow for them to write rules on post it’s their own expectations and consequences for this class.

I hope by practice and setting boundaries the first week we can work individually and in groups to answer questions such as what are computers and know we are valued and contribute to there is no one right solution or definition to this question :slight_smile:


Question: How do you plan to facilitate discussion during this lesson (and later in the course)? Share at least one key technique that has worked well for you in the past.

Some of the key thoughts I found from reading the article:

  • Positive feedback to students for: taking a stand on an issue, presenting factual or research-based information, or making a relevant comment.
  • Constructive criticize for: interrupting, monopolizing, personal attacks or making irrelevant comments.
  • Make your students responsible for bringing good issues for discussion to class.
  • Offer different options for participation. Letting students turn in written responses often helps shyer students.
  • Let students work in groups of three or four. Assign them a discussion topic and give them five or ten minutes to put together a response. Let them decide how to present their thoughts to the class.
  • Prompt students with a variety of questions that require different levels of thinking.
    • Some questions can be answered with information from general experience or from basic knowledge of the discipline.
    • Some questions require that students explain the relationship between different ideas, using this to form general concepts.
    • Some require students to apply concepts and principles to new data and different situations.


I plan to have students do a lot of think pair share and using post its so students can contribute ideas anonymously. I will also model listening skills and expounding or challenging other students ideas. I will try to choose a topic they are interested in and get students to challenge my opinion.


I plan on using sliding groups. Give the students the question and then a few minutes to think about it on their own. For me personally as a shy person, I find it helpful to be given quiet, personal time to think about my response and gain the confidence to want to share. Then bring students together into small groups, talk, and solidify a few good responses to share as a whole class.


I plan on using the students responses to the journal entries to facilitate a discussion about what a computer actually is. In the past, I’ve successfully used a small to large group discussion technique to get input from all students.


I plan on using pair and share and small group collaboration to help facilitate discussion during this lesson. I will also make an effort to continually switch up my groups.


I am planning on grouping students in groups of 4 allowing each student to have 1 elbow partner. I am a new teacher this year, but I am eager to get into the classroom and figuring out what works best for me in the classroom and for the students. I want to have great discussions that stay on point and the students learn from each day.


I start each of my classes on the first day by leveling the playing field. I explain to the students that they are living a life that their parents created and that they don’t necessarily have to make the same choices and decisions. They are a product of their parents choices at this point and that they can do whatever it is they set their hearts to. I give examples of housing types and vehicles and occupations and try to get the students to understand that no matter what they come from they will always have a voice in my room. I need to change the layout of my room or find a different room to facilitate groupwork and discussions in.


I really like the idea of the Nominal Group Technique. I think this will be a great way to introduce students to open discussion the first couple of weeks of school so they can get a positive feel for open discussion. An effective strategy I have used in the past was using a blog and having students respond professionally to two other peers.