Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Properties of Exponents - Section 3: Fishbowl and and Whole Group Discussion


Discourse in the math classroom seems to come naturally to some students, but it's very difficult for others.  When I see that a group of my students are particularly adept at productive discussions, I want the rest of the class to learn from them.  I help this happen by organizing a "fishbowl" discussion.  

In a fishbowl, a group of students engage in a discussion about a topic while the rest of the class watches.  Usually, I provide the students watching with a checklist of things to watch for to keep them focused.  This list might include 

  • vocabulary terms
  • discussion techniques
  • questioning techniques

After the small group has completed their discussion, we have a whole group discussion about what was observed.

The goal of the fishbowl activity is to help everyone in the class improve their discussion techniques by watching a small group of students who are particularly skilled. 

  Promoting Discourse through "Fishbowls"
  Discourse and Questioning: Promoting Discourse through "Fishbowls"
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Properties of Exponents

Unit 2: Exponential Functions
Lesson 1 of 11

Objective: SWBAT apply properties of exponents, including rational exponents.

Big Idea: Fractional exponents can be used in place of radical symbol. This can make working with radicals easier in some cases.

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Math, Algebra, Exponents and Exponential Functions, properties of exponents
  90 minutes
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