The Innovation of Discussion Boards

Fostering discussion across all curriculum areas

Why use discussion boards?

  • Let's Talk! Discussion boards foster collaborative discussions across all curriculum areas with written conversations or video notes.
  • Variety! Discussion boards allow students to respond by typing a message, recording a video note and/or taking a photograph.
  • Differentiation! Discussion boards can be used in conjunction with the groups feature to immediately differentiate content for all learners.
  • Engagement! Discussion boards harness students' interest in technology by giving them an opportunity to craft extended, constructed responses.
  • Jump Inside Their Minds! Teachers can use student responses to discussion topics to identify students' misunderstandings or mastery of an AKS. Teachers can then use this information to plan for future instruction.
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Social Studies Visual Literacy in First Grade

Students looked at an image of Benjamin Franklin and responded to the following questions:

  • What do you notice?
  • What do you wonder?

"I notice a kite. I notice black clouds. I notice Ben Franklin is flying the kite in the rain storm." -Student Response

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Math Extended Constructed Response in Fourth Grade

Sarah and Julie are buying pizzas. Sarah buys 1/2 of a pizza and Julie buys 4/8 of a pizza. Sarah thinks that they do not have one whole pizza. Is she Sarah correct?

Explain your reasoning using math vocabulary. Then, reply to two classmates.

"I think that Sarah is incorrect because we drew a picture and since 4/8 is equivalent to 1/2 because 1X4=4 and 2X4=8 so that's I why we think Sarah is incorrect. If we draw a circle and 1/2 is shaded in and 4/8 is shaded in and if you take away 3 lines from 4/8 it is equal into the 1/2 and you put the 1/2 slice with 4/8 and it is equal to a whole and that is why Sarah is incorrect and we found our answer to the problem. They have a whole of a pizza." -Student Response
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Math Vocabulary Discussions in Seventh Grade

How do you know what the graph of an inequality will look like? Be sure to include how you will know if the graph has an open or closed circle and whether the graph will point left or right.

"If the sign is < then the circle is going to be open because it is not a solution and the arrow is going to point to the left because all the numbers to the left are smaller. If the sign is > then the circle is going to be open because it can not be a solution and the arrow is going to point to the right because the numbers to the right are bigger than the other number. If the sign < or equal to then the circle is going to be closed because it can be a solution and the arrow is going to point to the left. If the sign is > or equal to then the circle is going to be closed and pointing to the right." -Student Response

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Discussion of Literary Devices in AP English Literature

Students discuss the various themes in Wuthering Heights, providing text evidence and outside resources to justify their responses.

"It was a sweet warm weather..." (Lockwood 314)

The darkness has died so that means everybody is free from his torture. Lockwood came back to look for Nelly and found out that Heathcliff had passed. In chapter 32, Cathy is forgiven by Hareton and she is now teaching him how to read. According to Nelly, they might get married soon. Everything is slowly becoming peaceful and happy. Except for the fact that Heathcliff is still alive in this chapter. In chapter 34, Nelly describes the day, "the weather was sweet and warm, the grass was green as showers and sun could make it, and the two dwarf apple trees, near the southern wall, in full bloom." The description is clearly insinuating a new life and beginning. It is Spring!!! Heathcliff came home happy and cheery, which was probably an unusual sight to see for Cathy. Heathcliff has became nicer, he sounded thankful for the meal Nelly provided him. He is even smiling. This is a new side of Heathcliif that nobody has ever seen in a while. The day Heathcliff died, it was pouring rain. He died with his eyes wide open and he was smiling." -Student Response