Reflection: Discourse and Questioning The Earth Is Mostly Water - Section 5: Sharing with Our Friends


Learning to discuss a topic is not easy for second graders. They are not used to talking about a subject and offering their opinion of what others are saying. Because of this, and the science standards that encourage students to learn to talk about science, I have decided to use a strategy called talking cubes. Each child is given 2 colored snap cubes. Each time they contribute to the discussion, they get to add their cube to a tower in the center. This makes it engaging for students and also shows who is or is not contributing. One thing I found was that the  children want to build the tower as big as they can so they encourage each other to participate and put their blocks in. I had not thought of that as an outcome. I was more expecting that I could circulate around and see who was or was not contributing to the conversation. The interest in getting a tower built helped those who usually dominate the conversation to slow down and get others to contribute. The cubes also encouraged those who usually hold back to contribute even a few words so they could put their cube in and help their group.

The talking cubes are something that can be used in any subject where a discussion is happening among students. I have started with 2 cubes each during science and literacy, but will extend to 3 and 4 cubes as the students become more comfortable with taking part in discussions.

  Strategies for Sharing
  Discourse and Questioning: Strategies for Sharing
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The Earth Is Mostly Water

Unit 3: Understanding Our Earth
Lesson 1 of 13

Objective: SWBAT define several types of bodies of water found on earth

Big Idea: The earth is mostly water and that water can be found in oceans, rivers, lakes and ponds.

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12 teachers like this lesson
Science, wind (Weather), erosion, research, observation, landforms
  70 minutes
screen shot 2014 10 20 at 9 49 34 pm
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