Communication and collaboration are essential skills for the success of our students. As such, students need opportunities to practice and develop these skills in the safe spaces of our classrooms. In her book The Best Class You Never Taught: How SPIDER WEB Discussion Can Turn Students Into Learning Leaders, Alexis Wiggins introduces the SPIDER WEB classroom philosophy. According to Wiggins (p.9), SPIDER WEB discussion is:
- Synergetic – Team oriented – The whole class is engaged.
- Practiced – Ongoing process.
- Independent – Students lead the discussion.
- Developed – Discussion builds on itself.
- Exploratory – It is focused.
- Rubric-assessed – Students have clear and concise guidelines.
The WEB is a student- or teacher-generate visual representation of the dialogue.
As you prepare for your classes next week, think of ways that you can begin to implement some of the SPIDER elements. Your students will learn much in the process!