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Stephanie M. Butman

Research on students' learning has made it clear that learning happens through an interaction with others and through communication. In the classroom, the more students talk and discuss their ideas, the more they learn. However, within a one-hour period, it is hard to give everyone an equal opportunity to talk and share their ideas. Organizing students in groups distributes classroom talk more widely and equitably (Cohen and Lotan 1997).

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Stacy L. Reeder and George E. Abshire

Meaningful discourse occurs when tasks are chosen carefully and when the teacher steps back and allows students to move to the forefront of their own learning.