28 October 2007

How would you describe a good group discussion?

This blog posting is due Wednesday, Oct. 31 before class starts.

Throughout our study of A Separate Peace, we have spent several class periods discussing ideas from the book in small Literature Circle groups. Often, members of each group are responsible for coming up with the topics worth discussing in groups. While you've discussed, I've been listening and watching.

Now I want to hear from you. How would you describe a good group discussion? What should it look like from a teacher's perspective in the classroom? In the comment section, record some descriptions and characteristics of a good Literature Circle discussion. In your posting, consider what you think the teacher should see, what the teacher should hear, what students should be expected to be doing and saying?

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would describe a good group discussion as a time when all group members actively talk about their opinions, predictions, thoughts, etc. A good discussion would generate more questions, predictions, and follow-up thoughts. All members carefully evaluate others opinions and open their thought horizons.
It is not fair for only two people to be talking and then get downgraded because other members were not participating. So the students and teachers should be hearing from all talking and active participation.

The teacher should look at a group and really consider what they are mentioning and listen in for a few minutes. Don't listen and grade a group during a time when we're thinking of a way to put our thoughts into words. The teacher should hear excellent points made, good predictions, and interesting questions/follow-up questions.

All students in a lit circle group should have the same goal: to be 100% into it. Get involved into what's being said and it can really change one ways of thinking. Maybe one would even learn something he or she didn't already know.

Jenna G. Period 6

Anonymous said...

I think that when we have a group discussion we should be talking about what we understand in the book and what we may have questions on. I think that a teacher shoulld look for is is paying attention adn who gets off topic so that you can keep us under control and keep us up to date with the book.I also think that when we have group disscussions we shouold think about what is going on in the book at that time and everyone should be included in speaking. I think that you should goo around to each group and ask one a two people what they have sadi adn what the other members have said. I think that the teacher should hear everybody talking and getting into the topic.
Anne Marie Period 4

Lindsay, Per. 4 said...

I believe that a good group discussion consists with mainly each group member contributing. Even if one person from the group isn't discussing, it can still make a big difference. That person may have a great idea to share with the group but may just be too shy. If other group members help them out or even simply ask them if they'd like to share any idea they had, can make all the difference in the world. I think the groups should also discuss larger ideas within the story, not just broad ideas of what happened in the chapter. The point of these groups is to bring forth new ideas that other people may not have thought of. From these ideas, will come further discussion about deeper ideas in the story.

Chelsea, period 4 said...

I think that a good group discussion consists of each member of the group putting something into the pot. Each member should participate in the discussion; stating their opinions, and facts from the book to support them. A good discussion consists of members of the group relating things that they are hearing to the things that they have read and the things that they think.
When a teacher is observing a discussion, he/she should see listening, each member participating, connecting events or characters in the story to deeper meanings, he should see an understanding of the question and what it means among the group, and he should see students looking back through the book at their post-its for better reference. Students should be saying what they think, asking what they don’t understand, and asking for other members’ opinions.
The main ingredient of having a good discussion question in a group is that everyone participates and many sub-questions are being asked. Sub-questions help answer the main question.

Anonymous said...

A good group discussion has questions. If you don’t get something, you should ask about it in your group and then ask more questions based on that, or you could ask a question that requires a lot of thought and the answer isn’t in the book. What a group discussion should look like from a teachers point of view is that all of the students in the group are participating. There shouldn’t be three students working and then another one slacking off, a good group discussion has to have cooperation from all of the students in the group. The teacher should see students answering questions that other students might have or a student helping another student with something they didn’t get in the reading. What a teacher should hear is everyone in the group contributing to the discussion. Students should be expected to be on task. They should also be expected to add to the discussion.
Megan H. Period 6

Anonymous said...

I think a good group discussion should have a main goal of answering some questions, and maybe asking new ones. For everyone to understand the book better, every group member must contribute. The teacher should see every member talking, and might even see some debates arising within a group. He/she should hear/see questions being answered and students trying to help others. No student should be left out because they are too shy or because they don't understand the story. Everyone should be helping each other.

Colleen p.4

emily, period 6 said...

I think that a group should be actively participating throughout the whole amount of time given. Each member should bring up his or her questions and comments in order to bring all points of view into the discussion. People should listen to others in their group and ask and answer questions to the best of their ability. I think that more should be discussed than just the plot of the story in our groups. We should talk about some under the surface topics so that we can bounce ideas off each other in order to better understand the deeper meaning of the story. The teacher should be able to see that everyone in the group is paying attention to the task at hand, and people should all be busy.

Anonymous said...

For a good group discussion there should be some focus on a question or a quote from the book. If everyone can have some input into the discussion it could help everyone gain a deeper understanding of the story and maybe why the author wrote something in the way he or she did. The teacher should be watching and listening for things like if someone asks a question does it get answered and if everyone gets to participate. Maybe if there isn't much discussion going on then the teacher could ask the group a question or give some input to help give something more to discuss.

Josh P4

Dave T. Period 4 said...

I think that a good group discussion is one that is compelling and controversial. The people in the group should be making good conversation and everyone should be voicing their opinions in order to get whatever you are learning. Basically if the teacher was looking at you you would want him/her to see that you are on task and participating. If you argue in your group, that is okay. In fact, that is a good thing because that means whatever you are talking about you are interested enough in to fight for it. If, by the end of your discussion you have learned more about what you were supposed to be talking about and you have come up with some good ideas, then you have a good Literature Circle Discussion.

Dominic per 4 said...

I believe a good group discussion has a few different aspects. A good group discussion has a bunch of people abstractly thinking and sharing their ideas about a multi-faceted question. I think the teacher should see everyone in said group participating. Everyone should voice their standpoint and explain why they think that. If opposing opinions should arise they should be discussed, almost as if it were a debate. I also think students should be expected to use smaller details to illustrate larger themes of the book and participate equally.

chloe per. 6 said...

I think that a good group discussion should have all group members contributing to the conversation and actively participating. People should be talking about their thoughts on the book, their opinions, characters, confict, symbolism, etc. Good group discussions should consist of questions that provide deeper thinking and analyzing in the novel and generate more questions to get a conversation going. Conversations should be open ended so that it really gets people thinking.

From a teacher's perspective in the classroom, a literature group should look engaged in a conversation about the novel. All of the group members should be participating and contributing to what's being said. I think that the teacher should go from group to group and sit in for a few minutes to listen to the conversation. That way, the teacher could hear whether or not the group is on the right track and focused on the novel. Teachers should hear predictions, analyzing, and good questions along with follow-up questions about the novel. Maybe the teacher could even give the group pointers to invoke further discussion and follow-up questions.

Anonymous said...

a good gruoup disussion should include a set of people talking about three separate titles in one book titles meaning names of main characters they should disscus the traits and personalitys of the charachtersand their own lives how they must have lived and then take it from there and advance through out what they will be like in the book.

Anonymous said...

In a good discussion there should be questions,comments and many different points of view.The topic is debatable and provokes further questioning which spawns new ideas. A really good discussion doesn't have a direct anwser but allows you to see multiple anwsers and helps you open your ideas to new perspectives you might not have thought of before. Teachers should be able to hear all of the people in the group contributing their thoughts and opinions and hear suggestions on new possiblities. Students in the groups should be respectful of other ideas and encourge ideas to form.
Macy P.4

Anonymous said...

I think a good group discussion should stay on the topic question and one group should not talk to another group. The teacher should see that they are talking to each other and are not being quiet. The teacher should hear them coming up with other topics to discuss that are related to what they are talking about. I think that is a good group discussion.
Aaron
Per. 4

Anonymous said...

A good group disscusion should have many characteristics. First of all every group member should be contributing at an equal amount. In a good group discusion students making connections with the other group members and if two students think from two differently stand points then they should be discussed in the discusion.If you are the teacher you should be hearing much talking about the topic and things related to the topic. If the students are having a hard time with the discusion then the teacher should try to start a new conversation with a student and try to get new ideas that could spark a new topic or conversation

Pat p.6

Colin, Period 4 said...

A good group discussion needs to consist of a number of elements. For starters, it is imperative that everyone in the group is listening and participating. We cannot be expected to have a discussion if some members are not willing to share their thoughts and opinions. Other members of the group should build off what was previously said and support their responses with quotes from the text. Students should also never put each other down for their opinions, there is no right or wrong opinions, and everyone is entitled to their own. A good discussion will delve into deeper meanings of the text (as well as symbolism) instead of simply summarizing what has already been read. That brings up another point, that everyone must read the assigned chapters in order to fully participate. It is kind of hard to have an opinion about something you do not even know or understand. With these guidelines in place, an excellent and informative group discussion is guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

A good group discussion is when all of the members in the group participate and give out ideas or questions they have. Everyone should be helping out the group by telling them what they known so the discussion can go into more detailed. If your a teacher you should hear the group members participating and discussing about the story.

Anonymous said...

I think that the main point behind a good group discussion is that it doesn't focus just on the story. A good question makes you think more about the characters themselves and the situations they're in. It makes you think more about the human psyche and why the character acted a certain way or said a certain thing in that situation. The question could also be used to predict what's going to happen in the future based on current events. The discussion should also include varying opinions. Not everyone is going to have the same ideas as you do, so for part of the time the group is together you should compare and contrast the opinions and decide which one would be closer to the truth.

From a teacher's point of view it should look and sound like everyone is involved in the discussion. It can't be considered a "group" discussion if not everyone is participating. Everyone needs to contribute in order for it to be successful.

Peter P.4

MIke K p6 said...

I think a good group discussion should be about every ones thoughts and comments of the book. Each member of the group should have a few questions in mind and ask all hi/her group mates questions with follow-up questions. The follow up questions provoke further thought and will allow students for look deeper in the story and really understand what the message is. All group members should express their comments and thoughts and ask others to respond. The teacher should hear all the students talking about the book and asked the other group members questions about the book.

Anonymous said...

I think a good discussion group should have a couple of strong elements to make it work well and proficiently. For one, all of the members should be actively participating in the discussion. That’s what GROUP discussions are. Everyone had been reading and should therefore have created some opinion of either the book, plot, characters, anything at all about the novel that is relevant. The teacher should see everyone doing this and he/she should see a lot of relevant discussing. Another key element to the group in order to make the topic interesting is to have each member present decent, well thought out reaction and opinions to the story. This helps the conversation progress smoothly.
Sean S. P.4

Kristina Period 4 said...

A good group discussion should start out with everyone bring ideas to the table. Each member of the group should have something to say. From a teacher’s perspective, the groups should be concentrated on what they are talking about and each person should contribute and say something about the topic. A teacher should see productive stuff happening in the groups. The teacher should hear things related to the topic being discussed. There shouldn’t be any side conversations, students should be expected to go to the group discussion with things to say and ideas about what we are talking about. When a person in the group is talking, the other people should listen but also think about other idea to add to what they are saying. For example, a person in the group could be taking notes while they are talking. Every person in the group should be paying attention and not distracting or disrupting the group in any way. Everyone should feel comfortable saying what they feel or want to give to the group discussion.

Sujata per. 4 said...

A good discussion question requires some thinking. It can be answered from the general experience of people or basic knowledge of society. Others require students to apply concepts and principles to the situations. Most of the times these questions are opinionated. There should not be an easy answer to the question. From teacher's perspective, all the students should contribute to the discussion. They should state their opinion properly. The discussion should be beyond the plot of the story. Students should think about other people's opinions as well. There could be some other follow-up questions and predictions. They could discuss figurative languages, themes, conflicts, characters etc. that author is using in order to make their point clearer. Students could even take notes if they hear any interesting ideas from their group mates.

Anonymous said...

I think that a good group discussion should have all of the members in the group communication with each other. They should all be asking questions about the characters, their feelings about what they just read. Lastly they should all talk about how the characters changed over the corse of the book.

Andrew Per.4

Charlotte p4 said...

If i was a Teahcer observing students in a group, what would i want to see? Well the first thing i would want to see is everyone parpiciating. Its important that evryone parpicpacipates because then what is the point of working in groups if everyone isnt be included. Also it is a problem is you don't see everyone parpicipating in groups becaus ethen you know that some people arent working and letting someone else do all the work. As a student it is annoying when your group members leave you with all the work, because they dont want to do it, didnt read or are just being lazy. Also sometimes there is someone in the group who justs takes controll and doesnt let anyone else put in thier input.

ANother thing that a teahcer would want to see from a group of students working together is that they are all getting along. Its okay if students disagree, but its another thing when they are all bickering. Students should be able to express their feelings freely without fighting.

Lastly, A student wants to see the students all on task. It is not good if students are off task, talking about other subjects. If they are off task, then no work will get done.

Now but going over this, i hope to improve my efforrts in group disscussions.

Maria Period 6 said...

A good group discussion should have contributions from every member of the group. Each person should be thinking and everyone should be interacting with ideas from the novel. Good group discussions can answer people’s questions about interpretations and ideas from the story. They should also generate follow-up questions and new ideas from the discussion. The teacher should hear the group discussing the book and things connected to the story. Also, the teacher should see a lot of questioning and interpretations from each person in the group. Students should be expected to stay on topic and make many connections within and from the text being discussed. Analyzing the text and finding deeper meanings should also be done in a good group discussion.

Mike P. P-4 said...

A good group discussion has to consist of many things to be good. First, i think that every group member needs to be participating and provide ideas and insite that contribute to the group. A good discussion has to be led off with good questions to compare all of the different opinions of the people in the group. All of these opinions should develope follow-up questions and newer ideas. The teacher should be hearing the ideas flowing and the different ideas being exchanged. He should see some people taking notes and also should see people using there books to provide proof for there opinions.

Anonymous said...

Kendall Milles
Period 6..


In my opinion a good group discussion consits of everyone participating and telling eachother there ideas and thoughts of the book or what the discussion is about. If you have questions about the topic, ask members in your group to help you out and let you understand. Let eachother know how you like the book so far and if you can relate it to any life experiences. Whatever is on your mind just let everyone know so you can make discussions. That's what I think a good group discussion consists of.

Kevin p4 said...

I consider a group discussion "good" when all of the group members actively participate with backed up opinions, respect each others opinions, and stay on topic throughout the whole duration of the discussion. The students may only participate actively if they actually have a clue about what they might be talking about; each student must be up to date with the reading. Depth and understanding, the goal of the discussions, cannot be achieved without a proper foundation. The group members must also concede that none of their ideas and conclusions are going to be "wrong", just different from everyone elses. A good group discussion is born partially from the pondering of multiple views. The students absolutely must stay on topic as well in order to make the discussion at all worthwhile, or to even reach a reasonable conclusion for that matter. The teacher of the class should see everyone voicing their views, open-minded arguements, and absenteeism of cellphones, i-pods, and anything else irrelevant during the discussion.

Anonymous said...

A good piece of literature should hold a few components. For one, it should have the reader thinking about the character and what they will do next. How will there character effect the story, other characters, setting, etc.? The story should have twists and unsuspected changes and actions that catch the reader off guard. The reader should be left thinking about certain parts of a story without it haven to be blatantly obvious. The story should take the reader to another place, a new and detailed setting that can connect with the story easily.

My favorite story this year was the Kite Runner. I was engrossed in the book for the beginning and couldn’t put it down the whole time. It had many twists and turns as far as the plot goes and it was a very realistic story. The characters are all very believable and relatable. This book was one of my favorite that I have read in years.

Sean S. P.4