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Teaching Tip #19

April 10, 2012

This week try this instructional strategy to encourage more discussion of multiple ways to solve the same problem — “Swapmeet.”


  • When a team task is partially finished, one pair from each team rotates to the next team.
  • Pairs from the two teams share ideas, solutions, thinking,…
  • Pairs return to their original teams and share what they learned.

 Sometimes teams are at significantly different places in the solution process for a problem or for completing a lesson.  Some of them are making good progress, while others are still unsure about how to proceed. The team that is on the right track benefits from having to explain their thinking, which confirms their work and deepens their understanding. A team that is confused can get some ideas about where to go next from their peers.  A Swapmeet also focused the students on becoming more interdependent and less teacher dependent. A Swapmeet can be done for an individual problem or at the end of a lesson for lesson closure.

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