U1 Day 1-2: PD Discussion Topic


They’ll work individually to come up with their own ideas, then share them with a partner (and in small groups). Depending on the topic, they’ll present their ideas to the rest of the class in a poster form, bullet points on the smartboard, turn in shared written responses for credit, etc.


I will have my students use our discussion board. They will post their unique response then have to comment on at least two classmates.

  1. All students will first tackle the question individually
  2. Students will then be randomly broken into groups to share individual thoughts; and encourage to collaborate a group response to questions
  3. Each group then presents collaborative response(s)
  4. Then individual student will reflect on initial discussion topic to conclude class discussion

  1. Empasize Safety in the classroom.
  2. I am in a lab so I may attempt face to face chairs for this. That will keep them from looking at their screens.
  3. I will model good listening constantly. I will repeat back clearly what they were saying.
  4. time
  5. Give them some ideas and look for strugglers


I plan on setting up my classroom in a way where students are able to have small group conversation; I teach at a school that does not have full walls and so entire class discussion is challenging. Strategies I have used in the past that have worked well is waiting for longer than is comfortable to call on students so that every student has a chance to consider the a response. I have also tried really hard to ask open answered questions, instead of simple “yes” or “no” ones.


I like to get a good introduction to the students on the first couple of days of school. One thing that I’ve used in the past is getting them to create an ID sketch which lists their name and 10 pictures of things they like/things that represent them. They usually explain it to the class as a “get to know you” activity and then I display them on the bulletin board. It also helps me learn their names by having something to associate with them. I will definitely need to think about seating so that team work will be easier. I like the idea in the article about the Nominal Group technique where the students write down their discussion thoughts on a note card and they get passed around. That would be a good way to get everybody participating.


I plan to do a couple of ice-breakers the first couple of days. I am also going to have to give some serious consideration to my classroom layout. I am in a computer lab and have no tables that would lend itself to group discussions and projects.


I was excited during Phase II training when we were put into groups and kept changing. I will model this practice placing students into groups and use the elbow partner and the table groups and using the journal. I will first use the elbow/table strategy for my class. There is little room for movement in the lab I am in, so first I will distinguish and label what is a table group. The lab is setup with five rows of six students. The first row will turn around and face the person vertical behind them. Creating groups of fours, two elbow sitting side by side and the vertical elbow partners behind will constitute one group. So two rows will have three table groups. After defining my groups I will use the same procedure as my instructor in PD. I will start with writing a journal entry, How many computers are in the room? and share with your elbow partner. Ask students to share a few responses. I plan to switch groups regularly, use the journal, and model our instructors throughout the course.


For this lesson I will provide a list of different equipment and ask them to write in their journal to classify each of them as a computer or not a computer and the reason for their answer; then they will pair share. Finally they will get in groups of 4 and discuss their answers and share with the class their conclusions.


My plan is to group students in teams of 4. They will write their ideas their journal in then share with someone in their group.The two partners with the share with the other two group members. Each group of four will then share one answer (that the group agrees on) with the class. As a class we can work to create a working answer to “what is a computer?”


I plan to set the tone early and provide multiple opportunities the first few weeks of class for everyone to have a voice. The TEP Facilitating Discussion website had great suggestions - I’ve used a number of them in class already! It can be extremely hard for teachers to do, but waiting in silence before calling on someone or rephrasing the question is very helpful for the students that are deep-thinkers, introverts, or just like to hear others speak first.

An activity I might employ is a fun camp-like game called 1-Minute Speeches in which a randomly selected student must try to talk for 60 seconds about a randomly selected word. The words can be anything, such as sandwich, cabinets, music, hammer, etc. This gets students to open up, think of something on the fly, and it ends up being pretty funny. I plan to do this at the beginning of the school year (at least a couple of times) and then randomly throughout the year as a warm-up activity or at the end of the day.


One strategy that seemed very helpful during the PD is to allow students to share with their table group or elbow partner before sharing it out to the whole class. Going small group to large group seems to provide adequate processing time for the students.


To facilitate discussions in my class I plan to try and build a sense of community in the classroom. To do this I have always spent the first few days of class doing introductory activities that are fun as well a informative, encouraging the kids to get to know each other.

My classroom is a computer lab so it is not very conducive to groups so I am gong to have to find a way to overcome that challenge. I am planning to use both sliding groups and nominal groups for discussions in my class this year. I really like the idea of offering students different options for participating in discussions.

One of my biggest weaknesses is waiting for student responses. My goal this year will be to give students more time and trying to encourage a response and not just offering the answer myself when students don’t answer right away.


This lesson will be very important for setting the tone for group interaction. For group interaction to work well, students must feel safe, valued and heard. We will start this process through ice breaker groups that will allow students to express themselves and emphasize the point that everyone has a voice and everyone should be heard.

This lesson will be the first that begins dealing with true C.S. concepts. The students will sit in desks that are arranged in groups to encourage discussion and minimize distractions from the computers.

A group sharing process that I had success with in the past was creating mock environments. Allowing the students to role play seemed to take the pressure off of them as an individual because they could say that they were just answering the question in the way a character would have answered. This can be a good entry way for students who are uncomfortable sharing their own ideas.


I also have students to share their ideas with a peer(s). Normally, I have students read silently or I made read aloud depending on the material. Then, I would have them pair up with the person that is sitting next to them. My room is set-up where 1-3 students can be seated to a table. Then, I will open it up for a whole group discussion for a few minutes.


I will probably do this activity similar to the way we did it at the workshop. Students will work individually, then confer with two or three classmates, then share solutions on the board.


First of all a climate of encouragement and freedom of discussion is very important. I like the idea of brainstormings and then comining up with common themes and questions that will be explored further in small groups. Games can be created aroung the question what is or what is not a computer.


Not rushing is the best advice I can give others and to myself. Give the students enough time to process the question(s) so they can actually offer a relevant and valid response to share with the rest of the group. I would also suggest showing one or more of the videos offered and then re-asking the same question to see if their responses changed after hearing others share and viewing the video. Did it change their mind in any way?


Just got access to this, so having just taught this…Students had a blast with this, although it is a continual learning process with refining the process. I had the students pull into small groups, use large poster size paper to jot down ideas, then do a gallery walk and post their responses on the board and then discuss as a class.


I want to have my students put their thoughts first in their journal so they will have a base to begin their discussion in small group. At the end of the time for small group, we will have a class discussion. The journal will also help the shy students.