Is your voice worn out by the end of the day? Do you feel like it is hard to engage all students within the class? Looking for a way to make your class more student centered?
Having the students get up, talk to one another on task, collaborate together, and think critically can engage most students no matter what the level of ability. This activity has been used in both on-level classes and in more advanced classes (AP classes).
Instructional methods based on the Socratic Method, have a long history of helping students with critical thinking. It also moves the focus of learning and information away from the teacher and towards the student. It is one of the prime examples of student-centered learning. (source: http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/socratic-teaching/606)
By the end of this activity, the student should be more comfortable with (a) bringing out information that has been read or introduced the night before, (b) building upon the ideas of their peers through group discussion, (c) synthesize new connections between prior knowledge, new information, and the world around them, and (d) be able to evaluate information or ideas based on the connections between prior knowledge and new information.
Included in this activity are question cards, tips for using the cards, tips how to scaffold the activity based on diverse learning groups, and example ways to gamify or make the activity more competitive, if desired.
At least 10-20 minutes total per concept discussed
ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES NEEDED (for set up): Paper and Scissors
This file contains the following:
7 page PDF of question cards with size recommendations to be printed out
4 page Teacher Notes for planning, recommendations for printing, implementation, and suggestions for differentiation (from Middle School to AP Biology)
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