Student-led discussions are the unicorns of teaching and the end goal of gradual release of responsibility (where teachers start with leading in teaching, and then slowly responsibility for teaching and learning the material shifts to students). We all want students to be leading the charge in discussions so we can put our feet up and finally drink that coffee that started out hot but is now ice cold. We need students to be engaging with material in a way that makes their learning visible and absolutely shows what a kick-ass teacher we are. But how do you get there?
English Teaching Strategies
Philosophical chairs are an activity that gets students to take a stance on a blanket statement and try to convince their peers to move to their side. For example, a topic might be “Water is wet” and students must decide if yes, water is wet, or no, water is not wet. They use argumentation and reasoning skills to sway their peers.
These activities are reflective and fun. Students get to demonstrate their creativity in these end of year activities with things like comics and collages, while looking back at their year. As teachers, we know how important it is to reflect on lessons, classroom management, and the year overall. And it is important to impart this skill on students as well.