Friday, August 7, 2015

#MTBoSBlaugust 7: Strategies to Promote Active Participation

I'm skimming the Total Participation book tonight.  Strategies that are catching my eye ...

Three 3s In A Row

How it works:
  • Prepare nine questions based on the content being learned and type them in a Three 3’s in a Row template (a 3 x 3 matrix).
  • Students walk around the room asking peers to explain one answer (only one answer) to them.
  • Students summarize their peers’ responses in their box –Don’t let students write in each other’s template or you’ll end up with a passive game of pass-the-paper. Only the owner of the template writes on his template. 
  • Students then find another peer to answer another question and repeat the process. Students can use any particular peer only once. 
  • Go over the answers as a class, by asking volunteers to share their responses.

Networking Sessions

How it works:
  • Prepare 1 to 4 prompts.  Ask students to reflect on the questions - maybe use a "quick-write."
  • Ask students to find someone with whom they have not yet spoken that day, and discuss their responses to the prompts.
  • After the given time, instruct them to find someone else with whom they had not spoken to discuss the prompts again.
  • Repeat until all prompts have been discussed.
  • Debrief by discussing key ideas shared.

Confer, Compare, and Clarify

How it works ... after taking notes ... 
  • Ask students to pair up to confer, compare, and clarify:
    • To confer, pairs should share a 1-sentence summary of what they believe to be the most important gist of the lesson
    • To compare, they read each other's notes and example problems ... make comments, add to their own notes
    • To clarify, they record any questions they still have.
  • Then pairs join together, and in groups of 4 discuss the questions they had.
  • In the debrief address any questions that groups could not resolve.

Key Word Dance**

How it works ... after taking notes ... 
  • Ask students to review their notes and select a set of words that are essential for understanding the concepts.
  • Ask students to create a Key-Word Dance ... organizing those words in poetry
  • In small groups share the poems and explain their organization.
  • Share a few in whole class debrief.
**This is one I want to try ... curious how it might turn out!

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One-Liner Wall - not a TPT strategy - instead a strategy for teachers

One teacher described in the book pulled out single statements or just a couple of sentences from students work and affixed to a wall.  It allows students to see each other's work and comment on it. I like this idea ... not sure how I will use it in my classroom.

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The big idea throughout this book is not so much which strategy you use, but the level of questions used ... questions that foster critical thinking.  Check out this site for free chapters and tools from the book!


 Himmele, P., & Himmele, W. (2011). Total participation techniques making every student an active learner. Alexandria, Va.: ASCD. 





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