How to have good discussions (communication)

Sometimes classes have ways of speaking to each other that are disruptive to learning. Also, discussions with mentors, professionals and teachers are valuable ways of building relationships for projects. The objective for this lesson is to model correct discussion techniques. At the end of the lesson the students have a notecard with the expectations for conversations and sentence starters  to help them start their responses in a respectful manner. They are expected to have those notecards every time they come to class so that they can refer to them when they start falling into bad discussion habits. Spark: Watch the skit below that Ms. Amy, Miss Amy and Carlos will perform. skit Student task: In your group, using the same content from the skit you just watched, re-create the conversation so that it is respectful, collaborative and evidence-based. The video is one group rewriting the skit and performing it for the class. Perform your skit and give explanations for the changes. Miss Amy will be at the board writing the changes for the class to see and compare. Complete the elements of discussion chart. The table comes from this article.
Elemento Por qué es importante
Active listening 
Active participation
Asking questions for clarification 
Piggybacking off  each other´s ideas 
Disagreeing constructively 
Focusing on discussion 
Supporting opinions with evidence 
Encouraging others

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