Co-Shaping and deepening the Focus: I’m interested in what x said about…, he/she said… I wonder…

Context: Grade 4, light study, whole class meeting:

Teacher: I’m interested in what J said earlier when he was talking about opaque. He said that a mirror is opaque, because when light hits it, it can’t go through. It bounces back. Then my question is: Are all opaque things reflective like mirrors? And if not, … what are the different kinds of opaque things? …like reflective and non-reflective?

What was the teacher doing in this KB moment? He was listening to student talks attentively while seizing the opportunity to shape the conceptual direction as needed, to connect the talk to the optical issue of how opaque things interact with light. Instead of simply assigning this discussion topic to his students, the teacher identified a seeding idea from student J with interest, rephrased (re-voiced) J’s idea, and then built on to it with a question, inviting further ideas from students. By doing so, the teacher was able to bring forth a potentially fruitful direction of discussion as naturally growing out of students’ prior work.


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