Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday Teaching Strategy - Brainwriting


Brainwriting is an alternative to brainstorming that involves having group members interact via reading and writing rather than speaking and listening.  Brainwriting typically involves the following steps:

1.)  Identify a topic or subject that students will be studying (One time that I used this strategy was completing a review for a test and final exam).

2.)  Assign students to a group of no more than four members.

3.)  On that topic, have students write/answer what they know or think they know about a topic or subject for a given period (five minutes is a good starting point)

4.)  When time is up, have students pass their writings or responses to a set of questions to another group.
a.   When I did this strategy with a review, I gave each group a master copy and then divided the questions up.  As we passed around the activity students would work at answering the questions missed by the previous group.   At the conclusion, the review should be filled out and as a teacher you know which ones no students were comfortable with.

5.)  Assign a little bit of time for students to review the previous group’s work and groups should add in what they know about the writing or questions being asked.

6.)  Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all students in a group have reviewed each other’s work.  Each group should then review all the ideas and answers generated through this process.

-     You could easily do this activity with any book work or worksheet that you are assigning to your students and divide up the problems based on the number of groups.
-     If you are having students read primary documents or short stories, the students could write their responses to questions or prompts and help other students with comprehending what the readings are about.  This activity could be done with Reading ACT test preps
-    Science teachers could use this to share hypothesis and experiment results so that they can compare any differences or similarities. 
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