Common Core Discussion Towers

Friends~I have been really focusing on the speaking and listening standards for the Common Core this month.  I want my students to begin to build on each other's conversations during our buddy reading and writing shares.  Here is what I came up with! 

I first asked my students to read a portion of the text above and record their thinking on post its!  Then I passed out towers of 6 cubes to each student.  I asked each student to begin sharing their thinking on the passage.  Each time they shared they added a cube.  

After the discussion, we counted the cubes that were used.  I then passed the cubes out and repeated the procedure with a different part of the text.  I challenged the students to double the number of cubes that they had the first time.  

Check out a video of their first try at this! 

I am planning on doing more of this in class.  I am going to model building on another person's thoughts and also siting where the information was found in the text.  

As they work in partners, I am going to have them record their ending Discussion Tower on the sheets below.  They will turn them into me so that I can track their progress.  
Grab a FREE copy of my Discussion Tower Recording Sheet by clicking the image below!
Or check out my newest file that will walk you through preparing the towers and explaining their use to your students.  
You will even find discussion cards for when your students come to a dead end!



  1. Such a great way to incorporate listening and speaking standards!
    The Kindergarten Center

    1. Amy...I am really excited about how the Discussion Towers are motivating some of my most reserves students:)

  2. I love this idea! We do a lot of Pair-Share but some pairs do seem to "talk" more than others. This would be a great visual for both my special need students to remind them to talk and to my chatty leaders to learn to listen. Great idea! Thanks for sahring.

  3. What a terrific idea! Anything involving cubes gets my class motivated. I'll have to give this a try.
    Finally in First

  4. The cubes are a great visual for the kids. Wonderful idea.


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