Okay, so I had this weird idea about guided reading. Normally, students raise their hands when they want to participate in our small group discussions. However, I want my discussions to feel more organic but want to avoid students talking over each other. So I thought, what if I had a sharing stick (or something to that effect) on the table in front of us and whoever wanted to speak could pick it up, say what they wanted to say and then put it back? Immediately, though, I thought of potential problems. grabbing or arguing over the stick the lack of wait time shy students not participating Well, to prevent grabbing and arguing, I could model and practice. And if students shy away from the stick, I could still call on them to encourage their participation. Is this a crazy idea? Has anyone tried something like this already? I'm trying to make our discussions feel more like actual discussions. When was the last time you raised your hand when talking to a small group of friends and colleagues? Also, how do you encourage students to ask questions of their own (without being prompted) that contribute to the discussion? In my teaching experience, I've found that only students with a certain type of personality ask questions and they are far and few between. Would love to hear your ideas. Thanks.