Discussion Etiquette 101

Students arrived to class on Friday with instructions to get in groups and open a google doc I had shared with the entire class.

With your group answer the following question:

What things should we do to prepare for Rick Niece’s visit?

We were continuing to prepare for Rick Niece’s visit and focus on the learning targets:

  1. I can prepare for and plan for a class discussion.  I can follow agreed-upon rules for class discussions.  I can ask questions to respond to others.
  2. I can use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  3. I can adapt my speech to a variety of tasks and contexts. I can demonstrate a command of formal English when appropriate.

I know this looks like a lot to read, but again, I was so pleased with their responses, I just had to share. These are the 7th grade responses:

What we should prepare for Rick Niece is to look nice, BE RESPECTFUL TO RICK NIECE!!!!!, be really quiet when Rick Niece is talking, raise your hand when he asks you a question, when Rick Niece ask you something you have to say your answer loud and clear. Smile when Rick Niece comes in the room. Do not shout to Rick Niece because that is disrespectful to Rick Niece. Do not be goofing off at the table or around Rick Niece. I think put the tables to the sides and have 2 tables in the middle and have some kids that fool around to sit with a responsible student.

Be polite, be calm when he gets here so it looks like we are a nice class, ask him the questions that we have made up for him, take pictures if he says we can, when we talk about the book talk loudly and clearly… but not too loud, when Rick Niece gets here we be nice and calm.. don’t freak out, if we are allowed to make treats… can we make pumpkin cookies?! It has to be something to represent the book. I think we should put them at the back of the room and the chairs a certain way so it is still easy to get out.  

Look nice,respect the visitor, say nice things,be quiet when Rick Niece is talking, raise your hand when you want to talk, say hello to Rick Niece  when you see him in the hall or in the classroom.

Welcome Rick to our school, raise your hand when you ask a question, talk clear. I think that we should move the tables then  put the chairs in a circle.

Look nice, respect, raise your hand, don’t shout out loud.

Look nice when rick Niece comes. Raise raise your hand when he comes to visit us, clean the room up so it looks nice,write down question ahead of time that way you are ready to go. Respect the visitors like MR.NIECE . ALSO BE VERY VERY VERY RESPECTFUL TO MR.NIECEE. Put the tables in rows, or just take the chairs and put them up front that way everybody can see.

Look nice, Be nice,Welcome Rick to our school ,Be polite to Rick Niece, don’t talk when Mr.Rick is talking. Take pictures of Mr.Rick if he lets us. 


Here is what the 8th graders had to say:

We will have the chairs in rows,and something to drink.We should practice speaking to one another, we should dress up. Give him our respect and have appropriate language.

I think we should put the chairs in a circle so we all could talk and be able to hear each other and we should have some bottles of water and  we all should have are books with us so just in case he may want us to have them and we all have to be very polite and speak loudly and fluently so he could understand us and we can understand him.

I think  we should put the chairs in some type of circle and we can have Mr.Niece sit in the middle of us or beside one of us.,We can also maybe ask the questions that we discussed yesterday and act in a proper way and be kind to him and his wife if she is coming but mostly we should respect him and what he is saying when he is talking  and we should use all the goals we are trying to accomplish like using “eye contact “, “good posture”, and”using good pronunciation.”

We should move the tables and chairs in rows and we should talk about the book. we could also can talk about the characters in the book and see if he has any other book he has. We should also see if he is still in contact with some of the characters from the book.

I think we should have drinks and move the tables close together. We should talk with respect and even if it’s not a topic we don’t want to hear act like we’re listening. Take turns talking and not all talk at once. We shouldn’t be loud. We should stay focused.

We should move the tables to the outer edge of the room and put the chairs in a line.We should look at him when he is speaking.Ask him questions about the book and don’t talk about stuff that we shouldn’t be talking about in school.And we should act like we are in 8th grade.  

 I think we should have our chairs in like a circle so he could be in the middle.I think we should have water  .When we talk we should have all  eyes on him and you should use the right volume when you speak  to him.You should have right pronunciation . I will talk to him like a normal person.For some of us will be happy and excited but we should have control over ourselves .


Reflecting on these responses two days later, I am so proud and so impressed with my students and their anticipation.  Over and over, as I read through the responses, I can tell that they know the learning targets. I pray they will demonstrate them. I know they are going to be beyond excited Wednesday morning.

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