Engaging with small groups to deepen discussions

    It can be tempting to sit back and relax as an instructor when students are engaged in small group discussions. Doing so, however, keeps you from learning how students are understanding and engaging with content. Small-group discussion is an opportune time for you and your teaching team to get to know, compliment, complicate, and challenge your students’ thinking. In this video, Tina Grotzer discusses what she thinks about as she circulates and listens in on her students’ small group discussions. 

    Using jigsaws to facilitate small-group discussions

    “Jigsaw” discussions are an efficient and student-centered way to get your class familiar with many different texts or materials. By dividing students into groups that each work with different content, then having individuals from each group teach that content to their peers, you can encourage students to build on each others’ ideas and find patterns throughout their course content. In this video, Tina Grotzer describes how she uses jigsaws to facilitate in-depth discussion in her classroom. 

    Being transparent about instructional moves

    Your instructional decision-making doesn’t need to be a secret. Sharing your reasons for making certain instructional moves with your students can enhance their classroom experiences by helping them become more metacognitive about their learning. In this video, Tina Grotzer models being transparent about instructional moves with her students, showing how this communication is a crucial component of her course. 

    Demonstrating Moves Live

    The clips below showcase a new seminar series on teaching, hosted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, called “Instructional Moves Live”. This series showcases reflective Harvard instructors using high-leverage teaching strategies applicable to multiple settings and grounded in research. Each session offers expert teaching firsthand, followed by collective debrief and reflection.

    Professional Development Facilitation Guide

    To help educational developers, instructional coaches, and teacher leaders make the most of the Instructional Moves resources, we have created templates and examples of three types of professional development experiences that you can modify for use with instructors at your institution.

    "Raw Videos" as Text

    This type of session uses one or more select portions of unedited class footage to give instructors a common experience to explore and discuss, providing the opportunity for participants to more actively construct meaning and contribute their expertise. Examine the two example clips below and download the guide to explore one way to use them in a particular workshop on effective discussion leading.