The simple act of committing to an answer makes the students more engaged and more curious about the outcome. - Chip and Dan Heath in Made to Stick
This makes so much sense and I've seen it play out in the classroom time and time again. It works well because students have a personal stake in the outcome of the discussion. Students ARE more engaged but the problem I've found is that many of them only channel their input and thoughts in the one direction of the answer they had put down.
"Square peg, round hole" becomes my mantra.
"It didn't work on the little table when you were two, even with the little plastic hammer. And it doesn't work now."
Student response: "It worked when I used a real hammer."
Me (in my best Moe voice): "Why I outta."
How do I get them to be more open minded during these admittedly more engaging discussions?
Will they consider other answers if theirs is not worth any points anyway? If it's not worth any points, will they write down anything initially?