43 for 43 Teaching Tip #10: Bringing All Students Into Discussion

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43 for 43 Teaching Tip #10: Bringing All Students Into Discussion


A Tip from our 43 for 43 Teaching Tips Challenge:

Researchers find that speaking “one quick thing” at the beginning of a class often makes a big difference in participation throughout the rest of the class. And a recent article takes this insight a step further, into ways to get students to participate in discussions.

The key is hearing each student’s voice at the top of the lesson.  Even though class/sectional time is short, the results of investing this short time at the beginning seems well worth the time investment.  Make it a regular practice to ask every student to speak at the beginning each time, using a prompt like: “Let’s each share one thing we are excited about in our lives.”  Or “Let’s share something you noticed today that probably no one else in the room noticed.”

Ground rules: It is just one thing; it needs to be quick to share; it can be about anything. Yes, individuals can choose to pass, but you consistently urge everyone to share.  Start by giving your own example.  Vary the prompt to keep it fresh and interesting, and then make it increasingly about music.  Over time, you can expand the sharing to be almost like a mini-lesson about musical issues you are addressing.  But always start with their voices (sometimes you might go first to model), sharing what is relevant to them as individuals.

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Do you have a teaching tip to share? Then send us your teaching tip!  We know you have ten on the top of your mind.  Be generous—share one of those with the rest of the global Sistema faculty.

Date Published: 13 May 2018