When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically grounded best practices. Accordingly our mentees should know about the Classroom Discussion Model of Teaching.
One interactive method to facilitate a classroom or small group discussion is the Discussion Ball. An explanation of the rules for engagement follows:
The Discussion Ball
Materials Needed: A small, soft rubber, nerf, or koosh ball.
Students are seated in a circle, and a discussion ball is placed on the floor, or on a table. After a question for class discussion is posed by the teacher, students are given some wait time, e.g. 20 seconds, to compose a response. In order to speak, a student must first take possession of the discussion ball. Upon completing his or her response, the student must replace the discussion ball on the floor or on the table.
On the next post we will share another small group and whole class discussion procedure, Group Discussion with Talking Chips.