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Using Classroom Talk to Stimulate Students’ Thinking - Summary

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Mixing "test" questions with real questions is an example of mixing instruction with conversation. This is a good strategy for finding out if a student understands you.
"Cold Calling": Calling on individual students randomly for an answer to a question, without the students' volunteering to speak.
A zone of proximal development has two important features:
• Stimulating students' thinking
• Creates a supportive and caring atmosphere

One way of supporting students in expressing their ideas fully and clearly is to repeatedly check on your own understanding of students' contributions while a discussion unfolds.
Another way of helping a student to articulate their answer is to increase their wait time. Focusing attention on the process of doing an activity rather than on its outcome is a good strategy to get students to see less of a risk with a problem.
Some ways of doing this are:
• Calling attention to the intrinsic interest of the activity
• Minimizing the importance of grades
• Ensuring students know they have ample time to complete the activity

A caring community is one in which all members have a respected place, in which diversity among individuals is expected, and in which individuals assist each other with their work or activities wherever appropriate.
Having a caring community in your classroom is important. You can encourage community by:
• Showing and encouraging respect
• Sustaining relationships among students and teachers
• Asking for input from students