Odd Tools in Your Utility Belt

Most (if not all) of us have idiosyncratic exercises or techniques that others don’t use but which work exceedingly well for us. So I thought it would be useful to share some of these here, in case others might want to stea… er, I mean, borrow some of them.

To kick things off, here is one of mine (which conversations with Claudia Cortese and Liz Martin made me think of sharing, so blame them). To provide a little background, I don’t like to call on students to speak in class. At the same time, I think that it is a good idea for the quieter students to be impelled to participate. So, a number of years ago, I came up with something which would do so without them feeling picked out, and while encouraging those around them to support them in speaking. Also, I am a card-carrying geek and played Dungeons and Dragons through most of my college career, which means I own a lot of multi-sided dice. Like these…

 

Dice

So, linking gaming and pedagogy, here’s my personal approach to group discussions. (Note: a d20 is a twenty-sided die, with numbers from 1-20; a d8 is an eight-sided die, with numbers from 1-8; etc.)

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