- a set of question cards appropriate for your topic (mine were related to emotions, such as "When was the last time you felt unhappy?" or "What is one thing about yourself that makes you proud?" but could also be academic in nature)
- a set of response cards (without their meaning written):
- repeat: reflecting back, rephrase, "I hear you saying..."
- wonder: ask a question, "I wonder if you..."
- dis/agree: taking a position, "I dis/agree because..."
- add on: proving additional information or opinions, "In addition, I think..."
Small Group Setting
Students sit in a circle. The leader discusses four ways in which students can respond to teachers' or peers' questions, and explains that the students often have great ideas hidden away but haven't learned how to share them. Then students begin drawing cards. One student takes a question card; the next student takes a response card. The first student shares their answer to the question, then the next student must respond using the response card drawn (Some students find the response skills challenging, so the leader can allow other students to help in the first round or two). For example, one student could draw a question card that says "What is the last thing that you were super excited about?" and responds with "My trip to Germany, when I got to see my favorite football team play." The next student, who drew an 'add on' card, says, "I've been to Germany, and my favorite part was seeing that giant old castle." Another student with a 'wonder' card asks, "why did you get excited about football rather than seeing some of the cool sites like castles and the Berlin wall?" The student who originally responded to the question card would then be given the chance to respond to any student statements or questions.
Large Group Classroom Setting
In a large group setting, the leader/ teacher will need enough response cards so that each student receives one. It is a good idea for the leader to have sufficient pre-planned questions for students to answer. As the lesson is taught, students must use their card to respond to questions which encourage higher order thinking, and multiple responses can be given to any single question. Over time, leaders can begin to point out which type of responses would best fit with the question asked. An example within this setting might be science class about the environment: The leader might ask, "In what ways do we an Americans contribute to the gradual destruction of our local environment?" and the student whose card is the 'repeat' card might respond with, "Your question makes me think that we must all take responsibility for our part in environmental problems." Another student might have the 'dis/agree' card and could say, "I disagree that the environment is being destroyed. I think we should use the resources and technology we have available." Hopefully, these response cards will encourage:
- all students (even the shy or disengaged one) to respond to/engage the topic
- higher order thinking skills
- students to engage in metacognitive thinking about how they behave as learners
- stimulate debate and discussion among students
- self reflection and self awareness of opinions, beliefs, and feelings about topics
- awareness that others may have very different perceptions and opinions
By the way, if you use these cards, could you share your results in the comment section? Thank you!