Harkness discussion in Elementary Schools

This a classroom idea I stole from Chad Walsh and Sam Sherratt at Time Space education, the Harkness discussion.

Put simply it is a discussion where classroom discussions are tracked by a teacher (or a better yet a child). The observer draw lines between participants in a discussion and jot down interesting ideas in the conversation.

I wandered around with my camera last year to show one in action.

Some observations:

Children are noticing and naming learning behaviours and giving feedback to each other on their performance.
Quieter children are aware that they need to contribute more.
Confident children realise that they are dominating conversations and include others.
Children look for ways to include ESOL classmates by slowing down and giving wait time.

Telling comment from one of my students.

If someone needs time, you give them time.

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3 thoughts on “Harkness discussion in Elementary Schools

  1. Pingback: 6 ways to make ‘no hands up’ work | Teaching the Teacher

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