Want to help students achieve greater depth of reading, writing, and understanding? This book shows teachers how to facilitate discussions where students share rich, defensible interpretations of literature and solid, reasoned, understandings of any concepts under study. Based on the authors' extensive research in middle schools, it describes why discussion-based instruction is crucial to achievement, and then shows you how to introduce and sustain discussions. The authors clearly define the teacher's role and provide lots of successful strategies such as provocative statements and journal jots. Trouble-shooting sections answer common questions teachers have, such as how to correct a wrong interpretation and how to teach students to build on each other's comments.