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From “Productive Group Work: How to Engage Students, Build Teamwork, and Promote Understanding,” by Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher and Sandi Everlove [ASCD]:
Chapter 3 offers a way to harness the think part of the “think-pair-share” activity.
In “think-pair-share” a child has to turn to a partner to share his thoughts. But some kids find themselves paralyzed and silent. They find it difficult even to think, much less put thoughts into words.
Certain kids may not have grown up among adults who encourage spontaneous verbal expression. A child benefits from oral give and take.
It strengthens their ability to nimbly frame thoughts. Such conversational give and take also builds a child’s confidence in his ability to offer opinions that are valued by others.
Quickwrites Help Thinking Skills
Quickwrites are one of the instructional routines which the authors suggest will foster face-to-face interaction.
Quickwrites are brief writing events, typically one to five minutes in length. They provide learners with time to collect their thoughts and formalize their ideas before they turn to talk with another student.
In addition, if a child has some writing to refer to, it can provide a bridge over the awkwardness that shy or reluctant students experience as they try to get a conversation going.
For many students, the authors feel, quickwrites represent a starting point for a meaningful exchange of ideas.
Make it specific to your content:
- How would you explain cell division to your younger brother?
Or something more general. For example
- What’s the best thing you learned today?
- What was confusing to you in today’s lesson?
- What did you already know about this topic?
- How did you help yourself learn today?
- Crystal ball: What do you think you will learn tomorrow?
- Yesterday’s news: What does a person who was absent yesterday need to know about the lesson?
- Finish this thought: I was proud of myself today when I…
- What are the five best habits to have to be successful in this class?
- My goals for this week are…
- In the next 60 seconds, write down all the words you think of when you hear about —-
- When I read about —-, I was confused about —–
The authors say quickwrites are great before, during or after a lesson. And these brief writing interludes let students create a chain of evidence about their own thinking.
“Productive Group Work” Chapter Contents
Seven chapters include “Defining Productive Group Work,” “Using Positve Interdependence,” “Promoting Face to Face Interaction,” Ensuring Individual and Group Accountability,” “Building Interpersonal and Small-Group Processing,” “Getting Started: Questions and Answers.”
And there are several pages of resources as well as an index.
source: Productive Group Work: How to Engage Students, Build Teamwork, and Promote Understanding, by Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher and Sandi Everlove. ASCD. ISBN 978-1-4166-0883-7
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