How often do you have your students involved in discussions? Have you tried using the Fishbowl strategy? This strategy is useful in engaging students in discussions while giving the students autonomy. This strategy helps build deep questioning skills, attention to detail, discussion etiquette and confidence.
How does this strategy work?
A small group of students (as many as half the class) arrange themselves in a circle in the center of a room. This small group will conduct a discussion together while the rest of the students watch, take notes, and later pose questions and give comments about what they observed. The teacher can be part of either the inner “fishbowl” circle or the outer circle. Once the discussion is completed, the students switch places in the circle and repeat.
This technique allows for a richer discussion of any given topic, and it frequently helps build community by focusing attention on the ways that a particular group might work together more productively.
To see an example video, click here.