Thursday, August 18, 2016

#MTBoSBlaugust Total Participation Techniques with 2 sample activities


I like the book Total Participation Techniques.  If you aren't sure you want to purchase a copy, you can preview the book online here.


There are numerous strategies in the book.  The authors are careful to explain how to ensure critical thinking with the use of the strategies.

Check these out ... I used Special Right Triangles for my examples.


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.
Here is a sample activity:  Three Threes in a Row:  Special Right Triangles

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.
Here is a sample activity: Networking and Special Right Triangles

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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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. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi There! We just love this blog post! We sent you an email about it. Let us know your thoughts:)

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