Summer SAVY 2018: Session 4, Day 5 – The Great Debate, Mrs. Kraft (Rising 3rd/4th)
It has been an awesome week with the students and we have learned much about the philosophy of debate and how it works in practice. The students drove the class with their curious questions and their mature discussions with each other. Their communication skills have grown and every student is able to construct solid arguments with concise pieces of evidence gathered from research. They have worked so well with each other and the class acted as a cohesive unit. The week has flown by thanks to your children’s awesome behavior and willingness to learn.
This morning we did our last round of focus games. We added in a new one today, a call and response game, and this taught the children to focus on the person speaking, to keep an eye on the team as a whole, and to follow the rhythm. The students have loved starting off the morning with a chance to work together with their classmates and to get a little bit of their wiggles out. It has made us a stronger debate team in general.
After our morning games, we created our teams for the debate. The students did well in self-reflecting about their own strengths and where they would be best in the debate. We have some awesome speakers, arguers, note-takers, and convincers in our class! After creating teams, we split the class into a “pro” and a “con” group and they worked with their teammates to write strong opening statements with our debate points.
After our last lunch together, we had a guest speaker with us, Eric, who is an editor at Wikipedia.com. He shared valuable knowledge about how we can use the website to find sources for information. During that time, we gathered more evidence from reputable sources to back up our arguments for the debate. The students had great ideas about what key words we can use for our sources and how to avoid bias.
Finally, during the last part of the afternoon before our final debate, we did several practice rounds to get the student’s comfortable with their assigned roles and to work out any holes in our arguments. The students did an excellent job working together and staying on task during this practice time and I think it really paid off in the final debate! Parents, if you weren’t able to attend our Open House, please make sure to ask your child how the debate went and praise their effort in their preparation this week!
Thank you for sharing your children with us! We hope that they can use their new debating skills to have productive conversations with you 🙂
-Mrs Kraft & Miss Ashanti