My morning setup for a professional learning class always includes putting a handful of playing cards on each table. While I have purchased some full decks over the years, this is also a great way to repurpose decks you have at home that are missing a few cards. (Tip: Ask your friends and co-workers to keep you in mind before they discard a partial deck.)
As participants arrive, the see the cards on the table and begin wondering how they will be used. This activates their attention and sets a climate that feels creative and stimulating.
At several moments during the class I will need one person at each table to facilitate (or share, or be a time-keeper, etc.) I ask everyone to grab a card and then announce that the person with the high card will be the facilitator. By randomly selecting the individual, I ensure that no single person dominates the table discussion.
For more easy ideas, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Learning.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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