Spotlight On Strategies: Change It Up! Table Top Texting

Welcome to our special SOS Top Ten series. This month we’re excited to continue a new Spotlight on Strategies (CDN Version) series called Change It Up!  For years you’ve told us the best part of the SOS is their adaptability to use across grade levels and content areas. In this series, we share examples of what those modifications and adaptations look like.

We’d love to know what your favorite adaptations are, so be sure to visit the DEN Online Community to share more ideas!

Strategy: Table Top Texting (CDN Version)

Essence: Students use the familiar social media communication style of texting to discuss a piece of media.

Change It Up:

In any subject…

Cathy Houchin created a Discovery Education Studio Board that provides step-by-step instructions and give some student examples of what the outcomes of Table Top Text might look like.

Abbie Schiferl suggests arranging students into groups of four and giving each student a different color of marker to use. This provides an element of accountability and provides an easy way for teachers to see that students have switched papers!

…In his SOS Story, Hugh McDonald suggests adapting the strategy to fit the needs of the subject and your students. Four ways he’s adapted the strategy include:

Sharing  a piece of paper between two students and having them respond and talk to one another.

Having each student start with their own piece of paper, ask a question, then pass it to the next student. At the next stopping point, another student responds to the question, and adds their own question. Repeat the process as necessary.

Mashing this strategy with SOS Six Word Story (CDN Version). When students reach the final stopping point they then take information that’s been shared and turn it into a Six Word Story summary.

In science…

Jennifer Tatum suggests using Table Top Texting to launch a new science unit. She partners students and asks them to “text” to one another as they watch and listen to a media segment and says it is a non-threatening way to keep them engaged in the new material while getting their brains going and excited.

In math…

Jennifery Tatum also suggests using Table Top Texting to hone students’ abilities to analyze errors in how math problems are solved. She has students participate in a table top text about what they notice in the provided examples, including what the error was, and how to correct it.


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