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Students have already finished chapter 6 in The Outsiders.  In fact, I gave them permission to finish the book over Thanksgiving break, and many of them did!  They love the book, so it's not hard to get them to read.  In an honors class, I have them read most of the book at home.  That allows us to use class time for discussions and activities.  

After the first three chapters, we had a fishbowl discussion.  After reading the next three chapters, I showed students Costa's Levels of Questioning and assigned them to write two Level 2 or Level 3 questions about the chapters.  When they returned to class, I divided them into three groups.  Each group had a facilitator, recorder, time keeper, and summarizer.  I gave students approximately twenty minutes to discuss their questions.  

As groups were discussing, I circulated around the room.  Most of the groups did a fantastic job and were very engaged in the discussion..  I observed that in a few groups seemed to interrupt one another, which is something we discussed afterwards.  

After the discussion, students reflected on the discussion. I asked them to give their group a grade and justify it, as well as comment on whether they preferred the Fishbowl activity.The last question was to identify those students who either help or hindered the discussion.  These reflections are helpful to me.  I pull aside students who were identified as not-so-helpful, as well as those who contributed to the discussion in a meaningful way.  

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