One of my favorite classroom tools is to use a spreadsheet to facilitate discussions. Yesterday I added a couple of new features to my DiscussionTab template. You can now more easily delete a tab and the cell with the question is now protected to keep students from typing over it.
What DiscussionTab does is allows you to create a list of discussion topics on the first sheet of the spreadsheet. Running the DiscussionTab script creates a tab for each question, places the question on the sheet and locks the question down so students can not edit the question. Students can then respond to the discussion question collaboratively.
The template is located at http://www.alicekeeler.com/discussiontab
Create a copy of the template.
Create a List
Run the Script
Delete the first Tab
Before you share the spreadsheet with students you’ll want to delete the first tab (named Roster). The run script button will create the tabs again when the button is pressed.
Especially if you accidentally run the script twice you may need to delete tabs. You can click on the tab and choose “Delete” from the menu. However, deleting a tab this way asks you to confirm the delete. Instead you can use the DiscussionTab menu to choose “Run DeleteTab.” This will delete the tab you are looking at. If you make a mistake and delete a tab you did not want to delete you can use Control Z to undo.
Direct students to the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet. Each tab is labeled with the discussion question and the discussion question is placed on each sheet. The question should be locked down on the sheet so students can not edit it. Students can then find a blank cell and contribute their answer to the discussion question. Use this to start a class discussion. When you are ready for the next discussion question tell students to “Go to the next tab!”