Two Sixth Grade Teachers Featured in Educational Blog for Classroom Discussion Techniques

Through R.E.A.L. discussions led by middle school teachers, Hutchison girls are learning about the power of conversation.
R.E.A.L. is a structured discussion technique and acronym for four fundamental discussion skills: relate, excerpt, ask, and listen. Since receiving training during the previous school year, Sydney Freibaum, sixth grade English, and Jennifer Cordero, sixth grade social science, have been successfully implementing R.E.A.L. discussions in their classrooms. 

“We have started intentionally, purposefully teaching our girls how to have formal discussions. Informally, I have seen how that translates. They are looking for evidence now, and that is what we are trying to do: teach them to question everything,” Cordero said.

The R.E.A.L. technique can be used in both formal discussions and casual conversations and was born out of the need to provide structure to in-person discussions for students who “struggle with expressing themselves, engaging different viewpoints, listening deeply, and reading non-verbal cues.” Freibaum said she incorporates informal R.E.A.L. discussions into her daily class structure, and for the girls, it feels “organic.”

“My ‘why’ is seeing the girls start to think differently. I think the best way to get students to consider what an author was thinking and trying to convey is through discussion,” Freibaum said. 

R.E.A.L. Discussion interviewed Freibaum and Cordero about how our girls have benefited from these discussion tools. Read about what their students are learning through impactful classroom conversations.

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