This will be a short one — with the first (read: frenzied) week of school just behind me and Crystal off on a girls retreat, it's Daddy Domination time, and the girls are bound to wake up in moments.
Although my school year has only just begun, I know that some of you are using the pop-up method for discussion and debating this year, and, even if you waited a few weeks before having your first debate, some of you are a few debates in.
And so it's a perfect time to talk about what, at the end of the day, might be the keystone habit of great discussion and debate. What “move matters most” (to borrow some phrasing from Graff and Birkenstein's famous title) when conversing in professional, academic, or even personal settings?
I derive the answer from several sources:
- A few years of observing and reflecting on the differences between debates in my classroom that hum with electricity and those that… well, don't. (And yes — I have both, every single year!)
- Reading and reflecting on ideas from Graff and Birkenstein's They Say, I Say and Jim Burke and Barry Gilmore's Academic Moves.
- My colleague (and fellow blogger) Erica Beaton's early version of the graphic below.
Introducing Paraphrase Plus
This is the move I teach my classes as soon as they start to observe, in post-debate reflection, that our debates are repetitive. Paraphrasing before engaging in one of the three moves (agree and add-on; disagree with reasons; complicate) makes the discussion easier to follow, increases the accuracy of student speeches, and helps to avoid repetitive contributions.
Aaaand the girls are up, romping around, so it's time to say goodbye. Feel free to ask follow-up questions in the comments. I'll close with a recent photo of the girls, who all send their best your way. Have a great weekend.