Prior to class, students used ActivelyLearn to read “The Use of Force” by William Carlos Williams. They annotated the story for characterization, unfamiliar words and confusion. Next class, students participated in a “fishbowl” discussion and back channeled using TodaysMeet. When paired, these activities allowed all of the voices in the classroom to be heard. Students were able to provide clarification about the story, but also discuss our larger theme about whether or not the use of force by the doctor was warranted.
Before we got into our fishbowl groups, students were asked to write 3 questions they had about the story. These questions had to be open-ended and students were asked to consider the characters, characterization and motives. They were also asked to consider our larger theme.
During the fishbowl, the class was broken into two groups of between 12-15, depending on class size. Two concentric circles were created with approx. 5 kids in the center and the rest in the outer circle.The students in the outer circle listened and commented via TodaysMeet. The students in the center were the only ones allowed to speak orally and used their questions as a way to guide the conversation. They were following and commenting on the comments in the backchannel. Students could tap in if they wanted to be in the center and be heard orally.
There was 100% engagement in this activity, even from my quietest kids. Ground rules were laid early for the appropriate use of technology and kids followed right along. I was able to download the transcript after, copy and paste their comments into Wordle and then share with the kids. This allowed us to discuss the big themes that emerged from the conversations and build on our understanding. I did this for each class and we were also able to compare/contrast across classes.