Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Topic: Method of Assessing Discussions

10-second review: Listen for…. Count…. and Look for….

Title: “Discussions in a Fourth-Grade Classroom: Using Exploratory Talk to Promote Children’s Dialogic Identities.” K B Renniger and L Rehark. Language Arts (March 2009), 268-279. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).


Listen for the following: The kinds of questions students ask. The length of the responses (should be more than one or two words). The details students use to support their thinking. Chains of reasons.”

Count the following: The number of consecutive students turns. The number of teacher turns. The number of interruptions.”

Look for the following: Student-to-student eye contact. Students looking back to the text.”

Comment: Put these assessments together and you have a pretty good idea of how well students really did discuss. These would be interesting assessments to use at a faculty meeting on the topic of student discussions. Start with what each assessment means and then their implications. Come up with some published guidelines as part of the curriculum for a good student discussion. RayS.

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