The 50% Rule 2

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4 thoughts on “The 50% Rule 2”

  1. Last year I stumbled on a way to explain the 50% rule. It fits in well with circling with balls too.
    I take whichever ball we are working with. I pick the student we are talking about. I toss the ball. I tell them that in order to play pass we both need to do our 50%. Once one of us stops – I hold the ball – I ask what happens. Someone will inevitably say “the game is over” and I pounce and say “Exactly” and in CI if you do not do your 50% the game, the learning, the …… is OVER. Of course I explain what their 50% is and make sure that that is clear but the concept of 50% is illustrated by the passing back and forth of the ball.
    for what it’s worth

    1. I have just read all the articles about the 50% rule. This is the first year that I am using these rules so I wanted to make sure that I could explain it well to the students. I love the idea of playing catch. Thank you Ben and Skip for helping me explain to my students.

    2. At NTPRS someone else used the ball analogy and took it a bit further:
      1. Have a student close his eyes and then toss the ball
      2. When the student tosses the ball, don’t react but let the ball fall to the ground
      3. Have the student turn around and talk to someone else for a moment and then toss the ball
      These are other ways in which the learning and interaction cease: not focusing on whoever has the conversational ball, not responding (with an appropriate answer or gesture of not understanding), carrying on that side conversation.

      1. A coworker of mine who teaches Spanish said this is what she’s been doing this week to help returning, inveterately talkative groups get it in their bodies that they are not attentive as a pattern of behavior, and how that causes problems:
        She uses several same-size koosh balls (rubbery with little fronds coming out all over, if you know these) and has the kids line up in two rows. She begins tossing one koosh to the first student, who needs silently to pass to the student in the next row, and so on. Meanwhile, the teacher adds another koosh so students are asked to stay highly engaged. After a few standard-sized koosh, she throws in an odd-shaped ball, a bigger koosh, etc. until there are 10 items in the line up. The idea is that they’ll go until they can get all 10 items tossed and caught without dropping them.
        It caused a reflective conversation about how distractions affected them (they dropped the ball) or zoning out made them mess up. It sounded like a very helpful activity — not a lecture on “pay attention,” but an experience of “whoa, I really had a hard time focusing”.

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