Using speed dating techniques

Teachers may also opt to offer a continuum of choices, ranging from “Strongly Agree” on one side of the room, all the way to “Strongly Disagree” on the other, and have students place themselves along that continuum based on the strength of their convictions.

Basic Structure: Students are divided into 4 groups.

Small groups of students travel from station to station together, performing some kind of task or responding to a prompt, either of which will result in a conversation.

For each strategy, you’ll find a list of other names it sometimes goes by, a description of its basic structure, and an explanation of variations that exist, if any.

To watch each strategy in action, click on its name and a new window will open with a video that demonstrates it. Basic Structure: Stations or posters are set up around the classroom, on the walls or on tables.

actually meant the teacher would do most of the talking; He would throw out a couple of questions like “So what did you think about the video? ” and a few students would respond, resulting in something that like a discussion, but was ultimately just a conversation between the teacher and a handful of extroverted students; a classic case of Fisheye Teaching.

The problem wasn’t them; in most of the classrooms where they’d sat as students, that’s exactly what a class discussion looked like.

Some teachers set up one hot seat to represent each side, and students must take turns in the seat.

In less formal variations (which require less prep), a teacher may simply read provocative statements students are likely to disagree on, and a debate can occur spontaneously without a text to refer to (I call this variation This or That in my classroom icebreakers post).” or “What literary works should every person read?” Have students generate responses by writing ideas on post-it notes (one idea per note) and placing them in no particular arrangement on a wall, whiteboard, or chart paper.After some time passes, new students rotate from the seats behind the speaker into the center seats and continue the conversation.Variations: When high school English teacher Sarah Brown Wessling introduced this strategy in the featured video (click Pinwheel Discussion above), she used it as a device for talking about literature, where each group represented a different author, plus one provocateur group.Basic Structure: A statement that has two possible responses—agree or disagree—is read out loud.