- Elbow Partners
This tried and true activity is a quick way to get students into discussion pairs, maximizing time on task. If students sit in pairs or quads, they can conveniently turn to their neighbor who is their designated partner. There can also be a “Left” and “Right” Elbow partner with quads.
- Mediation Process
This 4-step guide teaches and supports conflict resolution by students. Teachers do not intervene until the 3rd step. Read this article for details.
- Talk Moves
Provide learners with this list of talking prompts that address a variety of conversation responses. Some areas include framing a respectful disagreement or agreement to asking clarifying and probing questions. Explore the options in more details in this article.
This strategy has students go through a reflective process alone and with groups of peers. An alternative is: Pair-Think-Pair-Share
- Clock Partners (DOC / PDF) and Contacts Partners (DOC / PDF)
Students sign-up partners. Teacher then calls out partners by stating a number. Partners get together quickly, minimizing any loss of instructional time.
- Spider (Harkness) Discussion
Students review and reflect on learning that has thus far taken place. They also practice communication and collaboration skills in order to successfully complete the task.
- Establish Student-Developed Norms
In the absence of formal norms, they exist as individual habits of mind in the classroom. Rarely does everyone follow the same unwritten rules. Ownership of the formal process for shaping norms empowers and holds accountable the students, because they make the norms.
- The Science Behind Classroom Norming
- Steps for Student-Led Norms Creation
- Paired Verbal Fluency or Partner Talk Countdown
The time can be varied for each round by 5-15 seconds.