NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ906738
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1074-4762
"Wouldn't She Notice He Had Mud on His Shirt?": Scaffolding Meaningful Discussions
Chiaravalloti, Laura A.
Voices from the Middle, v18 n2 p16-25 Dec 2010
There is a relationship between the structural supports teachers set in place to foster academic discourse in their classrooms and the quality of learning that is realized by their students. Research suggests that students who are given frequent and equitable opportunities for academic talk will be more likely to make academic gains. In this article, the author describes how she uses "talk tickets" in conjunction with explicit modeling of discussion strategies and frequent feedback during group discussions in order to scaffold group discussion skills. Talk tickets allow academic discourse to be structured, transparent, and easy to learn. More important, talk tickets provide a prop to support all learners, even those who generally have difficulty getting their voices heard--English language learners, struggling learners, even students with lower social or academic status than their peers. When teachers support students in a way that provides them with frequent opportunities to engage in structured conversations with peers during a school day, students learn more about the topic under study, the ground rules of discussion, and the sophisticated skills of academic discourse. In other words, well-supported discussions allow students to become more engaged in their learning, causing them to ask more questions, retain more content, and develop the natural curiosity educators wish to nurture in all learners. (Contains 2 tables.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8; Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A