My 9th grade (special Ed, co-taught, fundamentals) classes are small enough that they can sit one per pair of desks during “whole class” time. We are working up to productive conversations with peers and today they made some progress. As we were discussing the opener a student shared a thought and then another student asked me “can I respond to that?” Then he turned around and asked the other student a question. My co-teacher and I still needed to run interference as the first student wasn’t listening so much as waiting his turn to talk, but it was exciting to see the beginning of dialogue.
Then I asked them “what times 7 equals 100?” And after each kid told me a guess I asked “can you get closer?” Eventually I had students frantically typing into calculators and excitedly yelling out their next best solution. (Yes, I know that 9th graders should know to divide but we started with mental math and I wasn’t about to interrupt that enthusiasm)