Encouraging Group Discussion

To increase communication between students and to build a sense of community in your class, it is important to engage in regular group discussion. As well as encouraging the asking of questions and group discussion, it also helps to motivate your students to help each other in times of difficulty.

At Red Box Teachers we understand the importance of having a long lasting relationship with your students, whether the duration of your stay is just for a couple of months or on a more permanent basis. It is important for both supply teachers and teaching assistants to be able to quickly gain a sense of respect from their students, but to also help the class to learn and grow as a whole.

In addition to building a sense of community in your students, it also emphasises the idea that asking questions when unsure about a topic is always encouraged, and is not something to avoid. From a very young age we catch on to the belief that ‘being wrong’ is the same as ‘being bad’ when this is not the case. Engaging in the discussion of wrong answers and motivating the students to ask questions when they are concerned or unsure will help to allay these fears of ‘being wrong’ and you will also help your students to relax in class more.

Some good ways of facilitating discussion are:

pollTaking Polls when getting Answers

This is good for a general poll or when asking for a correct answer to a question. General polls are great for finding out new things about your students and can also highlight various areas that you need to focus more on; i.e. spelling or world history.

Finding the correct answer to a question in a poll is a good way of rewarding students for getting the correct answer while avoiding the potential embarrassment for students who happened to be not so lucky on that particular question.

Reiteration of Previous Lessons

By asking the class what you learnt about in a previous lesson it encourages the children to think back to yesterday or to last week and to remember what they had learnt. Repetition of the lesson will also reinforce the teachings of that lesson and encouraging a group discussion about it will help children to work together to fully reiterate what they had learned previously.

As always, careful encouragement and positive reinforcement of correct answers is the key to building a good relationship with your class. Soon they will be eager to participate in discussions, making it far easier for you to teach the class as a whole and later you may even see some shyer members of the class adding their own input to discussions.

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