Gist: Students catch and toss a ball to organize discussion.
Why Do It? Discussions can get messy. Some kids talk too much, some not at all. Some kids sleep, some blurt every thought that runs through their heads. D-Ball gives kids a tangible reminder to wait their turn and injects a little fun into class discussions.
-A soft, not-likely-to-hurt-anyone-or-destroy-anything ball
1. Introduce the expectation that no one but the teacher and the student with the ball may talk at any time.
2. Demonstrate tossing and catching expectations. Underhand tosses with clear eye contact are recommended.
3. Pose a question and toss the ball to a student. That student answers and then tosses the ball on.
4. The next student may add to the previous response, pose an additional question, or answer a question from the teacher.
Caution and Tips:
-Have printed questions or an essay topic ready for students who break your rules.
-Be firm on your rules. Making an example of a student once often takes care of it.
-There are balls some teachers purchase with questions already on them. If you don't like thinking up questions on the fly or want students to be able to play on their own, this is an option.
-You can sit in a circle and roll the ball instead of tossing.
-The same procedures can be used to go over study guide questions, etc.
*The site creator first observed D-Ball in a 7/8 grade language arts class in Knoxville, TN.