Reflection: Student Communication The "Eyes" Have It: Analyzing Eyewitness Testimony - Section 3: Day 1: Explain


Some teachers and parents question the use of talking chips, afraid that it will minimize student participation in class. I once had a parent state that her child was frustrated because they used up all of their talking chips and weren't "allowed" to say anything further. While this could be construed this way, I would like to clarify my motivation for using this strategy.

According to Spencer Kagan, "...talking Chips regulates discussion, ensuring that everyone participates and everyone contributes. Shy students, low achievers, and less-fluent students are encouraged by the social norms of the structure to fully participate and develop their language skills, too" . Not only does it provide every student with a safe regulated structure to attend to and participated in classroom discourse, but it also mandates that students listenpolitely and respctfully, which translates into speaking/listening, communication, and social skills that can be applied in and out of the classroom.

Yes, I know the active participants who love to share are forced to slow down, be quiet, and listen to others. Yes, I know this stifles their ability to share their thoughts all at once. But does it stifle their learning? I believe not. In fact, I think they learn a great deal from listening politely to the ideas and perspectives of others. In addition, these children will have plenty of opportunities to share after all have used up their chips, as well as in many other discussions throughout the lesson, the day, the week, etc.

  Talking Chips
  Student Communication: Talking Chips
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The "Eyes" Have It: Analyzing Eyewitness Testimony

Unit 5: Forensics
Lesson 3 of 15

Objective: SWBAT identify how memories can be affected by a variety of factors. SWBAT understand the limitations of eyewitness testimony based on human cognition and memory.

Big Idea: Witness testimony is used in a variety of cases to catch criminals, but how accurate can it really be?

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  145 minutes
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