Discussion Skills

Key words: Instructional Strategies/Language/K-12

Document 1 of 4

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Date: Sun, 19 May 1996 10:50:33 EDT

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Cathy Brandt

Subject: Discussion Skills

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Hi folks,

I think the area of DISCUSSION is an excellent topic for us to explore. I'd love to know more about how we are teaching or fostering the development of this skill.

In the unit we are doing right now on Communication & Deafness we are specifically targeting this in only in the area of written language via letters.

The kids are each communicating with a deaf adult via email. The younger kids are concentrating on the form of a friendly letter even though they are sending it via email. We are also working with them on how to ANSWER a letter. Without guidance they read a letter and write back mentioning nothing to very little about the content of the letter they were sent. They simply begin to write another letter. So, they are working on answering the questions they are asked and trying to comment on the letter they were sent.

The older students are focusing on commenting on topics of the letter, extending the subject or elaborating based on their own experience with that topic. They are then to ask questions which elicit additional information about that topic. Additionally they are to bring up new topics which are related to those mentioned as well as ask pertinent questions to gain new information about the person with whom they are corresponding.

This hasn't been as simply as it may sound. It's taken much interaction between students and me to think about "what else might you say or ask about that." I think this is a critical issue of language development and is severely lacking in many of our students.

I think that through the air discussions (be they speech or sign) are also a related area where we need additional focus. We have talked about that here a bit before.

I'd love to see other's thoughts, opinions, suggestions, lesson ideas etc to tackle this area of need.

Cathy

Document 2 of 4

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Date: Sun, 19 May 1996 23:25:04 -0400

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Mcfdyn@AOL.COM

Subject: Re: Discussion Skills

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

This is not only a problem with Deaf students. when I taught third grade, we would do journals and the same thing happened. The kids would write to me and I'd write back answering their questions and asking a few of my own. their next entry would completely ignore my response. I started writing comments such as "when I wrote to you I asked you some questions, when you write back you need to answer these first, then tell me the new stuff." Surprisingly, that usualy worked and after a few reminders they got the hang of it. If I still had problems, I'd tell them that I wasn't going to answer any more of their questions until they answered some of mine. This also worked well, especially since certain questions they wanted answered, I'd previously told them I would discuss only in writing (so they couldn't ignore the journal and then ask me the questions in class. It may seem cruel, but the kids didn't see it that way. Often a written reminder brought on an "oops" and a response.

kathy

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Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 06:20:17 -0500

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: KNPONGOR@GALLUA.GALLAUDET.EDU

Subject: Re: Discussion Skills

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

Another technique that can be used is highlighting the question mark. My kids have the same problems so I started by giving them questions that required yes/no answers and put in the yes/no which they circled. Then I mused yes/no questions with a question mark and highlighted the question marked with neon colors. I eventually faded the neon and now they just answer the questions.

Kathy Pongor

Document 4 of 4

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Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 19:58:07 +1000

Reply-To: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

Sender: A Practical Discussion List Regarding Deaf Education

From: Novak

Subject: Re: Discussion Skills

To: Multiple recipients of list EDUDEAF

I have been aiming at a similar procedure. We are still very new at emailing and students are really just getting the hang of how to maneuver their way through the Eudora package or cut and paste from a program like WORD to Eudora. I find to really be able to keep tabs on what students are writing I have to spoil the through the air process by getting them to keep print outs of letters sent and letters received. I agree that students have much difficulty actually responding to the letter or any questions received. It is a slow and lengthy process to achieve. - I have simultaneously started 22 kids on keypaling. There are days I regret starting, days I feel like I am going bonkers and other days when I really forget which school/state students are corresponding .

Bev Novak
novak@netoptions.com.au
Melbourne, Australia.

Uploaded by: Melissa Close/Kent State University/ Deaf Education Major