Does this sound familiar? - "I need to have more student-to-student discussion going on in my class." Or how about this? - Have you ever been to a PD and participated in a formative assessment strategy and thought, "Oh yeah, I remember that! I liked that one. I should use it in my classroom".... and then you never get around to it? Or my favorite.... Quick! Think of a student to student discussion strategy. What came to mind? (I'll come back to this.)
That describes me to a "T" and it is the reason that I created this resource. I always intend to incorporate more student-talk/student-led discussion and small group discourse, but when everything gets flying during a day, that part gets left behind for me. I needed a way to 1) Be more intentional about incorporating student discussion and formative assessment opportunities and 2) Be organized enough that the activity does not end up taking away the entire class period. Providing opportunities for students to reflect, discuss and synthesize their learning, even for 5 minutes, will have a greater impact in the long run than getting in just 5 more minutes of direct instruction.
In this bundle I have included 35 different strategies. I have not tried to re-invent the wheel about the strategies so I'm sure you are familiar with many of them, but what makes this bundle invaluable is that each strategy is ready to go on a single PowerPoint slide for you.
Each slide has a complete activity and, where needed, a built in timer to keep you and your students on track. Are you using a PowerPoint for your lesson today? Simple then. Copy and paste the activity slide(s) that you want in the location that you would like them to be during your lesson. Not using a PowerPoint today? Project directly from the resource in this bundle. Drag and drop the slides into the order that you would like to use them. They are yours to organize in a way that works for you.
18 activities require students to write. Each of these activities can be done on a piece of notebook paper. This makes it easy to prepare in the morning; especially if there has been an unexpected change in the scheduling for the day OR if your school has budget issues like mine. If you are planning ahead, I have also included simple word document assignment sheets for each of the activities that requires writing that are ready to print and copy off. You can keep a stash of your favorites ready to go at a moments notice.
15 of the activities in this bundle require NO PREPARATION and are ready to go right now. Select the ones you like. Did your students finish today's lesson 5-10 minutes earlier than expected? Any of these 15 can help close class with a deeper understanding of the material.
The remaining 20 have very minimal prep such as replacing text on a slide with a question, learning target, or concept.
The most preparation comes in the fact that 2 activities require students to have post-it notes and one activity requires the teacher to take a class photograph from the day prior and place it into the slide show.
I have placed 4 of the activities from this bundle into the preview PowerPoint. Please feel free to try them out in your class. I hope that you find them helpful. If you like them, I hope that you come on back and decide to purchase. I look forward to hearing your feedback.
Lastly, when asked to think of a student to student discussion strategy did you go with "Think-Pair-Share?" I get you! That's all that I come up with too on the spot and, yes, it is one of the strategies in this bundle because it is useful and effective, but it is also okay to mix things up a bit. Here are 35 ways to get kids talking and assess what they are getting out of the lesson. Have fun.