Can too much screen time get in the way of friendships? Or does playing games and being online create friendships? This was the focus of our Philosophical Chairs Discussion (PCD).
We spent two days reading and annotating a text around the topic. We then used the PCD protocol. Specifically, students divided themselves into groups who believed screen time got in the way of friendships, students who disagreed with this, and classmates who were neutral. As students presented their arguments, they could move from one group to another based on how persuaded they were.
Students got to engage in Philosophical Chairs today. They had to position themselves on a “Philosophical Spectrum” to express if they agreed, disagreed or were neutral on the topic of whether having classroom pets was more positive than negative. Students then took the hot seat to share their claims and the evidence, from middle school texts, they had collected to support their claims. Throughout the experience, students were encouraged to move as their opinion changed based on what their peers were sharing.
The students proved quite adept at the technique and we will be doing this again while we are studying American history.