This month, I will be focus on engaging instructional strategies that incorporate cooperative learning structures. For this first full week of October, I want to feature a strategy I just recently learned about while creating an activity for some teachers with whom I work. The activity is called "Fact or Fib" and is an adapted Lead4ward instructional strategy.

What I love about "Fact or Fib" is how the structure of the activity focuses on students' understanding and justification of a standard or skill. Students must have an example, or even better, a counterexample, to illustrate their answers.

Here's how it works:

1. Group students in group of 3 or 4.

2. Give each student the "Fact or Fib" desk tent or have students write "fact" and "fib" on individual index cards.

3. Give the students a statement based on the current standard or skill. For example, "When you multiply two numbers together, the product is greater than the two factors that were multiplied together*."

4. Give each student think time to determine whether the statement is a fact or a fib. Then have students create examples or counterexamples to justify their response on a whiteboard.

5. Once all students have written justifications, each student displays his/her desk tent to show whether they believe the statement to be a fact or a fib.

6. In turn, each student states whether the statement is a fact or a fib and gives his/her justification.

7. After all students have shared, the group should come to a consensus and have several examples or counterexamples to support the group's decision.

8. Each group shares their consensus with the class.

9. After all groups have shared, verify and/ or clarify student responses addressing misconceptions where needed.

10. Repeat the process with another statement.

Click here to download a copy of the desk tent. |

The picture below is an example of how "Fact or Fib" can be used as an assessment tool. It was a bonus to the September "Transformation Tuesday" blog series included in the October edition of "Teaching Tidbits," my monthly newsletter. Click the banner at the bottom of this post to get your copy of "Teaching Tidbits."

**Sound Off! How will you adapt this activity in your classroom? Write about it in the comments below!**

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