I’m currently in a workshop with Communication Arts teachers in my district and we have been studying the book Reinventing Project-Based Learning by Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss. Our task was to identify one idea that we got from the book and use the “Save the Last Word for Me” discussion protocol in which we did kind of a round robin in which three people are grouped together, speaker 1 shares a valuable idea naming the page and reading the text and commenting on it. Speakers 2 and 3 respond separately with no cross talk or further explanation from speaker 1. This is not a time for questions but a time for commenting and listening. Speaker 1 speaks last reflecting on the comments of speaker 2 and 3 and telling where his or her current thinking lies.
As we were working through this protocol, I began to think about how students can learn from each other in the classroom. Using this protocol, students must honor the voices of each other as the purpose is listening to each other, sharing ideas, and reflecting on them. It allows students to create their thoughts and give information to help another’s thinking. While not used alone, I think it has substance for the classroom. There are many examples of this protocol on the net, but here’s a starting point.