A teacher in my online course, PoW Membership: Resources & Strategies for Effective Implementation recently wrote “Keeping Quiet – me, not them.” Her post was a response to the Discussion associated with the activity of reading the article, Unsilence Students’ Voices.

For some time I’ve been thinking about ways to gain minutes in classrooms so that students have more time to talk (and learn). Think-pair-share, turn-and-talk and other partner or group conversations help but invariably there seems to be a need to pull the whole class together for the whole discussion. Once we do that, though, we’re again having the “one person talk” mode — maybe it’s not the teacher doing the talking but it’s still just one voice.

BUT, here is the nugget that was suggested in the discussion post.

I’ve started to write down what I hear while I’m monitoring the class during their discussions and project them for all to see. Then students add any other thoughts that were discussed that I didn’t hear.

What a brilliant idea!

I responded,

As you record those comments and project them, do you find that your students refer to them? Do you still take whole class time to review those comments or might it (maybe with time and practice and suggestion) not need to be discussed as a whole?

Her response was,

I am noticing that as I post things and continue to monitor, others will say that they have the same thing.  It actually seems to be encouraging discussion in groups and may be adding other ideas to continue their group discussions.  I am not spending as much time on whole group discussion when I use this format.

I’m sure there are still moments where a whole class discussion is a good idea but this idea of projecting a compilation of ideas generated by the variety of pair/group discussants is a powerful idea!

If you try it or have already used this technique, we’d love to hear your stories!