Hot Potato

Published on: Author: Greg Alchin

What is it?

This strategy involves the use of a ‘round robin’ format in developing and sharing information within a group. Hot Potato encourages team members to share their work by passing their work onto other people in their group, or from group to group.

What aspects of learning are being supported?

  1. Bloom’s Taxonomy: remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, creating
  2. QT – Intellectual Quality: Deep Knowledge, Deep Understanding, Higher-Order Thinking, Metalanguage, Substantive Communication
  3. QT – Quality Learning Environment: Explicit Quality Criteria, Engagement, High Expectations, Social Support, Students Self-Regulation, Student Direction

Which apps could I use?

  1. DEC managed collaborative tools (via Portal): Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Connect.
  2. Related collaborative tools: EvernoteiCloudBaiBoardNote AnytimeWeb2AccessCool Tools for Schools, and Exploratree.
  3. Analogue collaborative tools: Paper, pens and Postit notes.

How do I use it?

  1. Divide students into small groups, even numbers if possible. Although groups of four or five students tend to work best, this structure is capable of working with virtually any group size.
  2. Assign a particular task to all teams eg develop a list of proposals for beautifying the school grounds
  3. Organise the students into a numerical order so that information can be shared from one person to the next.
  4. Each person records their ideas/information before passing on to another within the time limit provided by the teacher.
  5. Each team member receives the previous piece of information and adds their own ideas/information
  6. This process of passing the ‘Hot Potato’ continues until each team member ends up with their original information.
  7. All students should be reminded that once an idea has been recorded, it cannot be recorded a second time. No repeats are allowed.VariationsIdeas can also be rotated between different teams rather than the individuals in each team. To establish this rotation:
    1. Appoint a recorder for each team, who is responsible for recording all of the ideas given by their team.
    2. Each team can then brainstorm ideas on a particular topic eg how to get Frisbees down from the roof. This can be undertaken in a set period of time.
    3. At the end of this time, each team rotates their ideas onto the next team. After reading out the ideas on that sheet, the team then attempts to add some further ideas.

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