{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Hello fellow fishbowlers! I am looking for different ideas when it comes to randomly calling on the students to answer a question. In the past I have used sticks with their name on them. Does anyone have any different creative ideas?", "post_id": "6101f60ec0a2e70028917b42", "reply_count": 49, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

Hello fellow fishbowlers! I am looking for different ideas when it comes to randomly calling on the students to answer a question. In the past I have used sticks with their name on them. Does anyone have any different creative ideas?

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I teach science so we start many of our discussions with "What did you notice?" or "What do you wonder?" These are the types of questions where all of the kids can get involved pretty easily. The other thing I do is to call out a few names at the beginning of the discussion and say, "I notice that you guys haven't yet had as many opportunities to share yet this week so you guys have first dibs." As we continue to discuss I try to name the kids again as a positive feedback. I will say things like, Remember when Joe brought up the idea of ___ he was already making this connection that we are discussing." At the end of class if we have a good discussion I let the kids know what a great job they did and how great it was that they took risks and pushed their thinking. It's not about being "correct" it's about being willing to risk failing that makes the class really great!

likeupliftingsmart

My classroom is set up in rows so when I come to math questions that I want the kids to go up to the board I ask someone for two numbers. One represents a row the other represents a column. Some days I will go with that exact seat but when the kids figure that out then I switch the pattern to count from that kid. That way I can control who goes up also. If it’s a really tough problem I’m not going to have a low kid go up and get their confidence wrecked. But I’ll change the pattern to get them an easier problem to build that confidence. But before I have anyone go up I have everyone work on it first while I figure out who is going up. I also give clues about who is going up. This person is a boy. That plays football. And is in the choir. And narrow it down until everyone knows who is going up. Anxiety can be an issue but I’ve made it a safe enough situation and they know my expectations of giving it a try that I’ve never had someone completely shut down on me.

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Have students share with two classmates (to the left and right of you or in front of and back of you). Then ask the students to share one answer they heard in which they agree with or share their own answers. I find this to help rid anxiety overtime. Have a blessed & prosperous school year!

likesmartfunny

@IES1, I do this as well. It's something I wish teachers did more when I was a student. I am a verbal processor, so being able to talk out my ideas helps me to formulate a solid response to the prompt. It makes me feel far less anxious and more sure of my thinking. (I'm also a socially-prescribed perfectionist which is a *nightmare* in cold calls. 🤦‍♀️) I have seen nothing but good come from this strategy. Kids are kids and can get off topic (so can we! Lol), but as long as you're circulating they tend to refocus the conversation.

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Spinner (wheel of fortune style) at flippity.net - it’s free and the kids love it!

likesmarthelpful

Hi, In the past I had a deck of colored index cards. Pair the cards by color. Then on each pair, holding the card vertically, as if you are playing poker, place a number from one to however many students are in the class in the top center of the card. So now, you hand out one of the pair to the kids, and you keep the matching card. You now have two options for calling a student, the color of the card, or the center number. Turn the card 90 degrees so it is horizontal. Now add a stamp to your card and the same stamp to the student card. Keep turning another 90 degrees. Now add a sticker or two of the same image at the center of the card opposite of the number. Turn the card again 90 degrees and add the fourth stamp or sticker. Remember to duplicate the teacher card on the student card. The students pay attention because they don’t know what you are going to call out, a color, number, stamp, sticker,etc.

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likesmarthelpfulfunny

@NJES, I absolutely love this idea and will be making my own now. Thanks for sharing!

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I would love this. But how do students with anxiety feel about it. One thing that I’ve been considering when calling on students are the kids who have major anxiety about being called on in class how can I get them involved while trying to support them.

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There is a way to honor that anxiety students have and not make them feel bad: tell them ahead of time. Use your sticks or whatever method BEFORE you even talk about what you plan to. Pick three students. Inform them you’re going to call on them (quietly so the other students don’t take it as permission to drift off). That gives them time to prepare and think. You can also do it when they’re working if you’re going to have discussion afterwards or go over answers. Walk around and inform the students you are going to call on so they can be mentally prepared and it’s not a surprise to them. You can also give them all time to write their answers down first. And you can even add collecting responses and then randomly passing them out so students aren’t reading their own words. Lowers anxiety dramatically. They deserve to have their boundaries honored while also being supported to become more comfortable and participate in class.

likehelpful

Class Dojo!

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I call on one student and let him/her choose another student to call on after they answer that hasn’t an answered in a while. Students love to be “the teacher“ so they all raise their hand.

likesmart

I also do this and it works well in getting more students to participate.

smarthelpful

How about the little magnetic game of go fish? You could write names on the fish or just make your own with magnets and paper clips. There truly are a ton of different ideas online though for randomizers.

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There are free spinners on the internet but I right their names on index cards. I call them Cards of Fate. This way I can either show them their card or I can cdd as lol another students name if I “pick” one that isn’t comfortable in answering.

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Every student has an assigned partner that I have specifically picked for academic reasons. I will often as a question, have partners discuss it, & then randomly chose a student. All students , but especially the anxious ones, feel better as they have discussed the answer and their partner is there to give them courage or assist as needed.

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Google search random number generator and use it, if your students have numbers.

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Google Classroom phone app! https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/9123699?hl=en

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Use Pear Deck and simply choose which answers you want to use as examples. They can be displayed anonymously.

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All of our kids have Chromebooks. If I’m using Pear Deck that class period, for their Bell Ringer they log in and answer a question upon entering the room.

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Use a deck of playing cards. Tear each one in half. Tape one to a desk and keep the other

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I have a set of dice, I roll them, look around the room then call on who I want to call on. My class is not “equal opportunity “. Some need to be called on more or less than others.

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I use the pick a stick app because you can set it up. Plus you can set it up to read their names and they think it’s hilarious when the robot says their name.

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If I need to reteach or review a topic, I give everyone the problems we are going to practice on and assign everyone one of those problems. We then hit them one-by-one up at the board. But before we demonstrate the problems, I give everyone about 10 minutes (give or take) to work the problems out ahead of time. They can ask neighbors for help, they can ask me for help, they can use notes, etc. When it comes time to do the problems, they can also take their friends up to the board for help or moral support.

smart

Love this. I am definitely using it with my 5th graders this year. Thanks for sharing.

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Put their names on popsicle sticks and choose from the bunch. And if they are uncomfortable then tell them to “phone a friend” for an answer.

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I for pre-determined questions, I will randomly select students ahead of time and let them know what question they will be answering before we start the activity.

smart

This is extremely helpful for some kids.

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