NOTE: This strategy is part of the self-paced Amplify Learner Voice Course
It’s common for whole class or small group discussions to turn into a handful of learners spending the majority of the time talking. There are a few ways that educators can ensure and promote equity of voice through discussion protocols:
- Build think-time into the discussion protocol. Some learners think very quickly and will be the first to talk or raise their hands. Building in think-time for all learners before calling on them or asking them to speak provides time for all learners to prepare something to say.
- Pair students together to talk first before asking for the entire group to share. This could look like a think-pair-share or a table discussion.
- Track participation in a low-stakes (non-graded) way or have learners track their own participation over time to help them understand when they might want to lean out (and let others speak) or lean in and participate more.
Provide guidance on who should talk first in a small group, such as the student with the birthday closest to today, and then ask students at their table to go around in a circle. See this tweet with ideas.
Gain inspiration from authentic examples of this strategy shared by teachers who have used them with their learners.
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