Using a “Fishbowl” to Enhance our Discussions

Today we engaged in a “fishbowl” to debate the pros and cons of having classroom pets. We used materials that presented both sides of the issue and students annotated and rehearsed making claims from either perspective.

We read through three articles over the week and today we employed the instructional strategy. Students in the fishbowl debated the issue and could sub themselves out for someone on the outside who wanted to make a point.

All of this work allowed the students to complete a piece of writing on the topic. And the writing? It is pretty fabulous.

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Our Pro Se Court on Zoos

We finished our fifth week of instruction with a Pro Se Court. After spending the week reading through four different articles on the value of zoos, students were divided into three groups: petitioners, respondents, and justices. The petitioners had to argue that zoos needed to be closed, respondents had to explain the value of zoos, and justices had to weigh the evidence and the strength of the arguments. In turn, the justices had to rule in favor of either the petitioner or the respondent.

There were eight groups and the justices were split 4 to 4 on closing zoos.

A Successful First Auction

Today we had our first auction. Having paid rent on Thursday, students could spend their extra cash on items donated from a number of local, national and international companies.

Some students, however, sat out the auction. This is likely because they are saving their money to turn their desk rental into a condo.

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