Reflection: Trust and Respect S'Mores, Discourse, and Properties - Section 3: Mini Lesson: Fishbowl Activity and Discussion Techniques


Before doing this Fishbowl Activity with your students, it is so important to develop a culture of trust and respect.  This activity just won't be as effective without it.  Students need to feel comfortable talking in front of the class.  In order to do this, they need to be confident that the audience will appreciate their efforts and not "make fun" of them.  One way that I build up to this is by celebrating excellent discourse in whole group discussions in the lessons prior to this.  I stop to applaud and "golf clap" for students that share insightful science connections or refer to textual evidence while sharing.  I encourage my students to all display this appreciation for science discourse even if I don't initiate it.  I ask students to take time to fist bump or clap for students in whole group discussions that display these traits.  

I also make a point to verbally recognize the courage it takes to share textual evidence or deep connections.  I tell students that "we are in this together".  And, that even if outside of these walls it might seem silly to talk like a scientist as a middle schooler, in this classroom, we are going to embrace it.  The more you hype it, recognize it, and celebrate this culture, the more buy-in students will have.  As corny as it might seem, students need to hear your vision and your enthusiasm in it to believe and commit to this type of learning environment.

  Build a Culture of Trust and Respect
  Trust and Respect: Build a Culture of Trust and Respect
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S'Mores, Discourse, and Properties

Unit 4: Physical Properties: Molecular Arrangement and Phase Changes
Lesson 5 of 12

Objective: Students will be able to identify physical and chemical properties of reactants and engage in effective scientific discourse in group discussions.

Big Idea: Students practice discussion techniques in searching for physical and chemical properties of the reactants when eating S'mores!

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