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Best Idea Ever: Pennies for Your Thoughts

Education World's Best Idea Ever feature highlights a favorite teacher-tested idea designed to help you teach a lesson, manage a classroom, communicate with parents, impress colleagues and administrators—and amaze them all with your energy and creativity! 

Students in Jeff Hart's high school social studies classes can be found sharing their two cents worth about many topics -- literally! During class discussions, Hart gives each student two pennies, and asks for each student's "two cents worth" about the topic at hand. Students either can ask questions or respond to other students' questions, but they have to pay for each question or comment with one penny. Every student must use both pennies, and no student can use more than two pennies.

"The pennies encourage reluctant students to participate and prevent others from monopolizing the discussion," said Hart, adding that students have to think carefully about what they say, because they only get two chances!


Submitted by: Jeff Hart, Kittson Central High School, Hallock, Minnesota.

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