September 13, 2006
I use the Two for Two System to introduce new definitions or concepts such as the atom or physical change. I have students define the term in their own words, working in groups of two for two minutes. The rules are that the definition must be in words they understand and must be correct. Next, combine two groups so that four students work together; students should vote on the best definition or put their two definitions together. Then two groups of four combine to make a group of eight. As before, they create one definition. Then two groups of eight become one group of sixteen. Finally, all students come together, and as a class they must decide on the classroom definition of that word. I have never had a definition that made it to the end that was completely correct. They then have some ownership of that definition. At each level they must vote on the best or combine the two into one. They love it. It is competitive. They debate, explain, make connections, and reflect the whole time.