I tried a new idea to get all my students talking and listening to each other during literature circles, and it worked really well. I gave each student a note card with 4 paper clips on it. I told the students that every time they spoke during literature circles, they needed to take a paper clip off and put it in the middle on the table. When they ran out of paper clips, they had to practice their listening skills and just listen to other people’s comments. When everyone had just a note card left and all the paperclips were in the middle, they then had to put a paper clip back on their notecard when they spoke. They then needed to just listen when all their paper clips were back on their notecard until everyone else had all their paper clips back on their notecard.
It was easy to get the notecards and paper clips ready, the students really realized that a few of them dominate the conversation and never listen. It also made all the students who rarely speak push themselves to share!