Silent Debate

Mode of Instruction: Partner           Purpose: Present logical arguments

Objective: To use and connect mathematical representations, two students write about concepts and strategies while critiquing the understanding of others. The teacher monitors through circulation.

To improve writing and communications skills, students are prompted to write clear and concise statements about topics. The process is similar to oral debates, except that it is silent. Partners are assigned a topic and one partner writes pro statements while the other responds with con statements. One paper and pencil is shared by the partners. The pro partner begins and writes a statement in favor of the prompt. The con partner reads the statement and writes a statement against it or against the original prompt. The process continues.

  • Students work in pairs.

  • Partner (1) is assigned the pro (for) position, Partner (2) takes the con (against) position.

  • Partners share a pencil and one sheet of paper. A prompt or topic is given by the teacher.

  • Partner (1) makes a pro, or supportive statement in writing.

  • Partner (2) reads the statement, and writes a comment against.

  • Process continues—three or four times.

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