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Collaborative Discussions Work Well for Students

By March 20, 2020August 26th, 2022No Comments

20 March 2020

Brittany Monaco may be in her first year of teaching at her alma mater, but she is instructing her students through online learning with the skillset of a veteran instructor.

Monaco, a 2014 De La Salle graduate, teaches three classes of British Literature, along with one class of English II as well as the Journalism class.

And what is she doing to keep the Meteors progressing academically?

“I have implemented collaborative discussions,” Monaco said. “During the time of the switch to e-learning, we were midway through our poetry unit, therefore students are well-aware and accustomed to the way we analyze the poet’s language.

“Students have a poetry packet in which I assign a bell-ringer to correspond to the theme of the poem (to get the students thinking about their own opinions about said theme). Students then read and analyze the poem with specific instructions as well as a paired analysis chart, and complete an extension activity in regards to the poem’s theme.”

Although the Meteors are for now learning from their dining room tables and living rooms at home, some things have remained constant in Monaco’s classes.

“I have continued this same flow through e-learning,” Monaco said. “(Tuesday’s) bell-ringer pertained to students’ personal experiences with isolation, which is the theme of the poem (ironic in a time like this, isn’t it?), and then were asked to read and analyze the poem, “The City’s Love.”

“(On Wednesday), students were asked to respond to the bell-ringer in which they used their analysis from (Tuesday) to state what they believe the message of the poem is (including textual evidence for support).

“In order to allow students to discuss their opinion and their analysis of the poem, I required students to respond to the question of the bell-ringer, as well as respond to one of their classmates’ posts because this is very much a college discussion post style.”

So while the Meteors may not been in the same classroom physically, they are virtually. That’s something in which Monaco sees a great benefit.

“I really try to push collaboration,” Monaco said. “I think the best learning is done when students are allowed to work together with their peers and build off of each other’s responses.

“Especially at the Honors level, I try my hardest to let their opinions lead the discussions.”


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