Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Productive Classroom Dialogue- Bounce Cards


I have a noisy classroom.  We often do group work, we discuss all the time, we do demonstrations that get the kids excited and talking, we play review games, have competitions, etc. 

We learn new strategies every month or so, implement them in our classrooms, and subsequently gather data. Our most recent strategy has been bounce cards. They are designed to facilitate the growth and development of productive dialogue in our classrooms. In other words, we know that kids are often talking about the topic, but we want to help their conversations be more than just "ooh- that's really cool." We want them to learn and question from their peers (and from us)!

This is what they look like.  They're from a book titled Total Participation Techniques: Making Every student an active learner.   

They are so cool. The first time I modeled and introduced the topic, we only used the "bounce" portion of the card. This allowed us to focus on staying on topic. We practiced it that way for a week, then introduced the "sum it up" portion. Finally, we have moved into the "inquire" segment. We have categorized our data into types of responses (from both whole group wand small group conversations).

It's really easy to work this strategy into review time, and great for opinions and justifying them with textual evidence. I can use it whole class or in small groups, though you're more aware of their gains when you know that they're all hearing the same conversation. On the flip side, they get a more  individualized and personal interest when they are in small groups and have more control over the path the conversation will take. 

Has anybody used these or other similar strategies? How do you use them? Whar kind of results do you typically get?

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