Monday, May 1, 2017

Fishbowl Discussions

Fishbowl discussions have really energized my classroom this year. The kids BEG to do them! We have used them with poetry, fables, short stories, and novels. We have even used them to discuss hot topics like the presidential election!
When I set up the fishbowl:
· Half the class sits on the floor in a circle and the other half sits in a chair on the outside of the circle.
· Sometimes I pick the kids randomly, but usually I choose a mix of outgoing and reserved students.
· I ask an open-ended question with room for interpretation to the students in the inner circle.
To ensure successful discussions, there are guidelines we follow. The inside circle must:
· State supported ideas
· Agree or disagree with a speaker and provide supporting or refuting information. PROVE IT!
· Make connections to the conversation.
· Do not interrupt a speaker.
· Do not speak a second time until everyone has had a chance.
The outside circle listens quietly while jotting notes or thoughts they may want to contribute later.
The students may be a little self-conscious at the beginning of the discussion, but usually warm up once the conversation gets going. I tell the kids they are talking to the group, not me. My job is to sit and listen to the discussion and not intervene for about 8-10 minutes. Although, I do sometimes need to redirect the conversation when they get off topic or start repeating the same thing, in different ways.
This page helps me stay organized. I just write the kids’ names in the boxes according to where they sit in the circle. During the discussion, I make a check mark for people who have spoken and keep notes so I can follow up after time expires.


If you would like to organize your discussions, just check it out by clicking the pic!


Thanks for stopping by!





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