WHAT IT IS:
This strategy models use of graphic organizers during activities, specifically for structuring and organizing students’ thinking and demonstrating how individual contributions influence the goal of the discussion.
HOW IT WORKS:
First, consider what topic students might discuss, a topic that lends itself to a more open-ended, student-driven conversation.
Next, determine what discussion protocol will be used. This graphic organizer especially supports discussions that involve some students discussing while others are observing, either for the entire discussion or for a period of the discussion before rotating roles.
Be sure students have a substantial grasp of the topic before proceeding. The more knowledge on the topic, the more knowledge to be shared.
When a topic is determined and the discussion protocol is ready, distribute the Chat Maps graphic organizer to students and explain expectations for how they utilize the document and what is expected of those in the discussion and those observing.
Be sure those in the discussion know what those observing will be looking for. This will promote greater awareness on their part. When expectations are clear, proceed to the discussion.