Carousel Brainstorming:
Carousel brainstorming is done by posting topics as headings on large pieces of paper around a room. Students are to go around the room in groups, each with its own color marker. As they move around the room they should brainstorm their ideas on to the large topic posters. After the students have gone all the way around the room they should make a second lap and view the posters gallery style to observe their class mate’s ideas. It’s like speed dating and brainstorming in one activity. It’s a great way to get to know a variety of topics in a short amount of time.

Concept Mapping:
Concept mapping, is done when students make connections between related topics from a list of related topics. This list can be staff of student generated.
This technique can be used to asses a student’s prior knowledge, to pull meaning from text or to interpret lab reports.

Cornell Notes:

A student takes Cornell Notes by taking detailed notes on wide rule paper and in the margin developing clarifying questions and connections. Create a T-bar: Left hand column-question or idea, Right hand column – answers to question or idea.

This practice increases subject matter retention, and deepens a students’ understanding of given concepts. A summary of what was learned should be at the bottom or back of the page.

Four Corner Discussions:
To have a Four Corner Discussions, students must be exposed to the same information. They should read the same article; watch the same movie of hear the same speech.

They should respond to a specific statement about what they have heard, seen or read, by moving to one of the four corners of the room which are labeled
“Strongly Agree”, “Somewhat Agree”, “Somewhat Disagree” and “Strongly Disagree”.

Students should then be asked to defend, to the class, their choice of corner as a group. This is an effective way for student’s to be exposed to the view points of their class mates. It is good to follow this exercise with a reflection of essay assignment

Friendly Feedback:
Engage all students in the class during student presentations by providing the audience with a friendly feedback strip.
During an interview a student should ask predetermined questions to someone from whom they may obtain information.

This can be done in a mock setting as a class or can be done with esteemed members of the local community. It is a good way to teach organization of thoughts.

In this exercise students should divided into four groups. These initial groups are considered “home groups”. Once this is accomplished students the re-separate into new groups.

These are considered “expert groups” in these groups students will be given information and after the have received it they will return to their home groups.
Once the home groups are reassembled students will share what they have learned with the other group members. This raises student attention and is a rapid way of distributing information to a large group.

Learning Logs:

Learning logs are kept by students throughout the duration of a course.

At the close of each class they record what they have learned, what questions they have and what connections they have made.
This practice reinforces concepts and can act as a gauge for the instructor as to the level of understanding concerning specific topics. (ie. if one question is common to every learning log then the topic can bare further explanation) In addition near the end of the course students can view their own progress by reviewing earlier entries

Following the receipt of information students should be invited to think about the information or questions, and then share with a partner their thoughts on the topic. A class discussion should follow.

Parking Lot:
This technique calls for a large poster to be put up. This strategy can also be used by teachers for notetaking of group discussions.

It should be separated into three sections:

“I understand completely”, “I understand a little bit” and “I do not understand”

At key points in the lesson student’s should be given sticky notes and asked to write questions on them and to place in one of the three sections.

This acts a good gauge of what the class understands on a topic. This practice can also be done at the end of class to modify the next day’s lesson.

Philosophical “Thinking” Chairs:
To complete this activity the class room chars should be put in a horseshoe arrangement with three sections being labeled.

The one side should be labeled “agree” the center “Neutral” and the other side should be labeled “disagree”

Students should come to class with notes on a common article, speech etc. They should be presented a statement based on the article etc. and should be asked to sit in the section that is in accordance with their views.

At designated intervals each area should have the opportunity to state its case for the class. At these intervals student should have the opportunity to change their seat if their opinion has changed. As the discussion progresses students should collaborate and build arguments and counter arguments. An argumentative essay of reflection is a good follow up to this activity.

Quick Speak:
In this exercise a student should draw an index card with a topic on it. He should be given a short amount of time to think about it then should speak on that topic for a predetermined amount of time.

Quick Write:
In this exercise student’s should draw an index card with a topic on it then should be given a moment to think. Then they should be given a predetermined amount of time to write as much as possible about the topic on the card.

This is a group activity in which a student draws an index card with a topic on it which he shows to the rest of the group He is given a moment to think then must talk until he stalls about that topic. When he stalls any other group member has the opportunity to jump in. the second group member must go until he stalls and so the game continues until every group member has spoken.

Topics are based on prior assignments so that the game releases information that others may not have gathered. It is an exciting and fun method of brainstorming relevant information.

Check out this link for some great graphic organizers

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