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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Group Discussion with Talking Chips: An Interactive Method to Facilitate A Classroom or Small Group Discussion


When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested 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 Group Discussion with Talking Chips. An explanation of the rules for engagement follows:

Group Discussion with Talking Chips

Materials needed: Each member of the group has a talking chip or token (e.g. a pen, a pencil, a crayon, a checker, a name tent, etc.)

The members of each group are engaged in a structured exchange of information. The rules for sharing information are as follows; a member may make a statement, or raise a question only after he or she has placed his or her talking chip in the center of the table. Members may not share additional information until the chips of all the members have been placed on the table. If a participant chooses not to speak, he or she must place his or her chip on the table, and say, "I pass." After all members have spoken or passed, participants retrieve their chips from the center of the table. Any member may begin talking provided that he or she places his or her chip on the table. Group Discussion with Talking Chips can be used for a whole classroom discussion as well.

On the next post we will share another small group or whole class discussion procedure, Group Discussion with Paraphrase Passport.

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