“Discussion Partners” are partners that work on an activity, reading assignment, project, or other assignment together and then discuss what they’ve learned or complete a written activity.
Why use Discussion Partners?
Research has shown that students not only need to read and write but also need to discuss (or talk) about a new concept or skill to really learn and fully understand it. According to the University of Washington, “A well-planned discussion can encourage and stimulate student learning and add variety to your class. While “good” discussions can be a powerful tool for encouraging student learning if done correctly.”
In My Classroom:
At the start of each unit, I have students set up their “Discussion Partners” for the entire unit. It’s a quick 15 minute activity that will make our transitions into partner work seamless for the next 4 to 6 weeks. Setting it up takes a little practice for the students but by the second unit they’ve got it down and look forward to it (as much as I do!)