Weekly Tribes 2013 Participation

How do you get every student to participate in his/her learning?

Allow and encourage them to move and talk.  This is what they enjoy!  There are plenty of Tribes strategies that, once taught and experienced and managed well, can be used quickly and effectively.  Remember, the time you (teacher/facilitator) spend with meaningful participation, positive expectations, agreements, and practice in various groupings…will pay off – effective, efficient, and effortless.

That’s ME!:  This allows every student to react to a question or statement – suggest different ways to react…not always standing or raising hands.  Make a sound, suggest an action, or invite students to create ways to respond…responses might even be content-related.  (Example:  Cross your arms if you can tell something essential in multiplying decimals. )

Put Yourself on the Line:  This is a great way to introduce a topic or reflect on the topic.  By having students move to a place on the continuum, be it understanding or opinion, time is well spent.  In just two or three questions or statements, you not only learn something about what or how your students think, you have involved every student!  

Think-Pair-Share:  Make the most of this strategy by having some conditions for the ‘pairing’.  The more you maximize students interacting with anyone and everyone in the class, the less resistant they become to being with individuals outside of their social comfort zone.  You might preface these pairings with “This will be your partner for the next three minutes of your life !

One – Two – Three:  It’s all about prioritizing.  This is also an appropriate strategy for introducing or reflecting on a topic.  Your students have voices!  Channel their opinions and outspoken-ness to respond to limited choices.  Then challenge them to write the 1-2-3 statements/questions.

Suggestion Circle:  If you haven’t pulled this one out lately, start with a more personal topic before you use it for content.  (Example:  How should we spend the first (or last) 5 minutes of class?)  This can be a great ‘pre-writing’ strategy…aren’t those writing assessments coming up?  A suggestion circle might also be a good idea for ‘essential elements for a response to literature”.