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Basic Structure: A statement that has two possible responses—agree or disagree—is read out loud.
There is no particular order to how students speak, but they are encouraged to respectfully share the floor with others.
Discussion is meant to happen naturally and students do not need to raise their hands to speak.
Teachers may also opt to offer a continuum of choices, ranging from “Strongly Agree” on one side of the room, all the way to “Strongly Disagree” on the other, and have students place themselves along that continuum based on the strength of their convictions.
Basic Structure: Students are divided into 4 groups.
After some time passes, new students rotate from the seats behind the speaker into the center seats and continue the conversation.
Variations: When high school English teacher Sarah Brown Wessling introduced this strategy in the featured video (click Pinwheel Discussion above), she used it as a device for talking about literature, where each group represented a different author, plus one provocateur group.
One person from each group (the “speaker”) sits in a desk facing speakers from the other groups, so they form a square in the center of the room.
Behind each speaker, the remaining group members are seated: two right behind the speaker, then three behind them, and so on, forming a kind of triangle. The four speakers introduce and discuss questions they prepared ahead of time (this preparation is done with their groups).
In Starr Sackstein’s high school classroom, her stations consisted of video tutorials created by the students themselves.
Before I knew the term Gallery Walk, I shared a strategy similar to it called Chat Stations, where the teacher prepares discussion prompts or content-related tasks and sets them up around the room for students to visit in small groups.
For each strategy, you’ll find a list of other names it sometimes goes by, a description of its basic structure, and an explanation of variations that exist, if any.