Conducting a Structured Debate in Your Middle School Classroom

Setting Up a Structured Debate – Middle school students are still learning the art of conversation, so when we as educators decide to have our class debate, we need to offer some structure to make sure that the debate offers a positive learning experience.  I’ve had several debates over the years, some much better than others.  In recent years, I realized that there were some crucial components to making sure that a debate proved successful in my middle school classroom.

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It’s not about the pencil.

When I was a new teacher, I found the loss of classroom supplies maddening and infuriating.  In particular, pencil loss ticked me off on a daily basis.  I would loan out pencils every day, and they would just disappear, into the oblivion, never to be seen again.

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