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Tag Archives | speaking and listening

Common Teacher Hang-up: What Do I Do When Debates Get Heated?

With midterm elections upon the United States and Americans demonstrating a penchant for argumentation heavy on earnestness and light on amicability, I thought this might be a helpful bit to share. Sometimes teachers write in with questions like this: “Okay, I’m doing pop-up debates, but sometimes they get really intense. What do I do?” Before […]

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Two Ways to Improve Listening (and One Way Not To)

SLANT: Sit up, Lean forward, Ask and answer questions, Nod your head, and Track the speaker. I used to have a SLANT poster hanging up in my classroom, right next to the one for PVLEGS. I had learned of SLANT from Doug Lemov’s Teach Like a Champion; PVLEGS came from Erik Palmer’s Well Spoken. They seemed to make […]

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Common Student Hang-ups: Silo Speeches

One surefire way to make pop-up debates and discussions boring is to allow what I call “silo speeches.” Early on in the year, when we’re having our first pop-up debates designed to establish universal participation and public speaking comfort, silo speaking is inevitable. A silo speech happens when a student pops up, says what they want to […]

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Improving Pop-Up Debates: Better Prompts

I’ve held more than a few pop-up debates that went badly, and I could trace the badness back to before the debate started. What am I talking about? The Plague of the Poorly Formulated Pop-Up Debate Prompt. Recently, I was reading through Les Lynn’s blog (Les founded Argument-Centered Education, and his blog is the Debatifier) and […]

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Improving Pop-Up Debates: Tracking the Argument

Here are some problems that have cropped up in my pop-up debates this year: Students give their mandatory speech and then sit down and disengage from the ongoing discussion — so, poor listening; Students repeat one another — which is both a cause and an effect of poor listening; Students make effective arguments that are […]

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An Expectancy-Value Pop-Up Debate

This is a simple pop-up debate activity meant to: support the development of expectancy-value academic mindsets reinvigorate pop-up debates if/when they become stale deepen students’ understanding of Fulkersonian argument (i.e., collaborative, argumentative discussion) give students a chance to practice Palmer’s PVLEGS Also, it doesn’t need to take long (doable in 20 minutes for a 30-student class), as there is […]

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