Difficult Content

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:52 pm

Difficult Content

Post by connie7465 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:03 pm

Another teacher and I tried Showdown using questions kids missed on a practice test. It proved to be pretty difficult as there were not very many "experts" on the content. The teacher is going to try Think Write RoundRobin. Are there some structures that work better than others when reviewing difficult content? Thanks for your input!

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Re: Difficult Content

Post by krisosthoff » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:13 pm

That's a great question! You might consider reteaching the missed content and then have the students do Showdown again. This time focus on on helping your students to improve at the role of Showdown Captain. First of all, have an answer key available and require the Showdown Captain to consult it after calling "Showdown!" and making all teammates show their boards. Then give (and post on the board) gambits for the Showdown Captain to say to the team like, "Who can explain this?" and "How can we remember this?" If no one at the team can explain or teach, I would require them to make it a team question (all four students raise hands) and you come over to help. As with any structure, if you notice a majority of your class is struggling, it is always totally acceptable to stop, reteach the class, and have them try again.
Let us know if you have any other questions!

Tom Searl
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Re: Difficult Content

Post by Tom Searl » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:41 am

Hi Connie,

As Kris mentioned, stepping back and reteaching the content is wonderful, along with everything else she mentioned. Another great structure to use, which is teacher controlled, is Numbered Heads Together. This will allow you to control all questions asked and allows you to check with team representatives for answers. It gives you an idea of how your entire class is responding to the same question.

RallyCoach will also allow multiple opportunities for students to talk and explain their thinking as they work their way through a worksheet. Please keep in mind the pairing of students, according to ability levels, is crucial for this to work well. If you've taken the basic Day 1 CL course you may remember that the High performer should be working with the LM student. The HM student is paired with the L. Offering and teaching ways to coach will also be important to model before students do this structure.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Difficult Content

Post by Rob » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:36 pm

I love those ideas! I might also think about Fan-N-Pick and/or Quiz Quiz Trade. The cards can have the answers on them providing the students with the missing information. Subsequently, the students may be more prepared for a follow-up assessment that may include a more successful Showdown when the time comes.

Good luck,


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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:57 pm

Re: Difficult Content

Post by mswincel » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:51 pm

Another structure that might help is AllWrite Consensus. Each student has their own worksheet, which they do NOT pass. First student shares their idea of what they think the answer is, the team has a discussion and they must come to a consensus about the correct answer. Allowing students to use their textbooks as a reference to prove their answer to the team helps ensure the correct answer. Once they come to a consensus, they all write that answer on their own paper. Process is repeated with the next student. Hope another structure for your toolbox will help.