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After the children had silently read the selection assigned, the teacher launched them into a discussion. For a while it seemed that things would go well as the teacher began asking questions to guide the discussion, but only for a few moments. The ebb and flow of the discussion soon became more ebb than flow. The tide had turned and what originally promised to be smooth sailing turned into another voyage of the ill-fated craft--the discussion. The teacher, unnerved by the experience, abruptly ended the activity, deciding that discussions are hardly worth the effort. The teacher was tempted to try other activities, such as having the children write answers to written comprehension questions because they seem to require more thought and effort from children and do not involve the anxiety and discomfort of discussion.

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