{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Opinions wanted-Does randomly calling on students using a random generator create an emotionally safe classroom? I had a very quiet class last year where no one wanted to answer (Precalc) and I called on the students randomly and that caused anxiety among some students. I want it to be safe to answer, but of course I don’t know the students previous classroom experiences with other teachers. What are your best practices?", "post_id": "5f305b71ec68af002165b186", "reply_count": 11, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5c9f9c402f4dd9001faca19f", "bowl_name": "Math Educators" }

Opinions wanted-Does randomly calling on students using a random generator create an emotionally safe classroom? I had a very quiet class last year where no one wanted to answer (Precalc) and I called on the students randomly and that caused anxiety among some students. I want it to be safe to answer, but of course I don’t know the students previous classroom experiences with other teachers. What are your best practices?

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That's a tough one for me. As a student, I highly disliked being called on even though I was paying attention and on task. As a teacher, I very rarely call on students since I didn't like being called on. I typically just pose a question to the whole class or ask for a volunteer. Now...I have been known to call on off-task students "just for fun" 😂

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A good strategy is to randomly call on them but tell them ahead of time which problem and give them time to think (and maybe an opportunity to ask their group). Ex Joe you have #1 and Susie #2 etc. Then after giving them that time, ask for their response. I hated being called on because I am a slower thinker so that gives them time to come up with an answer and get help if they need it.

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I actually just heard of an idea this summer where you give students a choice of how they want to shaker their brilliance (I loved the term). But basically they can choose how to share when called upon. The options are orally, using a picture or diagram, in writing, or with a partner (they’re partner shares their idea). I think there were more but I don’t remember them off hand. I liked it because it gives choice and I’m sure over time those reluctant sharers will become more comfortable. But it allows students to share at their comfort levels.

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I was told to avoid that without giving students an opportunity to talk (ex randomly assigning kids to put homework answers on the board, they can check with someone else in the room) When I've had quiet rooms I put them into groups and told them to give me their best idea.

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Students are assigned numbers, and I draw popsicle sticks. I ask the question, then give the students time to think about their answer. Then, I draw a number. I will also have them think about it, write it down, share with their partner, then draw a number.

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I did the random name calling. The first time I walk through how it will call on everyone once. Once called they can bring up their notes, ask a neighbor, or get help from me directly. I call it three at a time. They don’t have to be right because it opens conversations about common mistakes. They can ask the audience. They are the ones who must write it down. I have an iPad that connects to my smart board so they could stay in their seats if getting up is too much. I do reward students for going up with jolly ranchers or erasers. It works because I tell them if you go up and down quickly most of the class won’t know it was you. I also extend it for more students to go up and fix answers if I see wrong answers. If it’s for corrections they are able to pass. Last year, most students didn’t take the candy. To start, I would pick questions the students have confidence answering. If I see they are struggling with the topic, I will tell them I will do call ups next time and go through the questions with them. Always give a 2 minute head start. In 7 years I only had 2 actual issues with it. I let them hit the button to pick the next student as well. Lastly, it tends to pick the person in the restroom. I would skip that person but let the student know they were picked.

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I’ve done the random number call before, but I’ve started limiting when I do it. Now I use it when we’re presenting projects and everyone has had time to work and prepare, so it’s more a matter of just getting the ball rolling on presentations. Something I had lots of success with last year was a worksheet where they had to get other people to do their problems. They could only do two problems and needed classmates to do other problems. One classmate could only do one other problem. But the owner of the paper was still responsible for making sure the problems were all done correctly. This led to lots of peer-teaching and explaining, because you could walk someone else through a problem as they did it. I was really impressed it worked as well as it did.

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I typically random name call only if I've already given them time to work on the problem so that theyre not caught off guard. I never random name call out of the blue. I have a lot of students with anxiety issues. I also do the random name calling to ask for specific steps and don't usually ask a student to solve the whole thing by themselves. Example: Johnny whats the variable in this problem? Nicky, how do i set up the equation? Timmy, whats the first step to solving the equation? Etc.

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Share*****

I would avoid that as well. My class was also super quiet. Maybe try breakout groups? I also started each class asking a non-academic question for attendance and encouraged everyone to answe that so they started to get comfortable answering questions on a virtual classroom.

I think that would be great. But be sure the list includes ALL students (see why below.) Then let each student have one/two/three (pick your number) "skips" of questions they really don't want to answer. Could be per day, per week, per quarter, up to you. Discuss with the class before you implement. Allow them to vote on this. You will be surprised at the level of agreement. Then, if a student exercises their skip, you can go to the next one on the list. Sometimes, knowing they have the out is enough that students will attempt an answer anyway, saving the skip for the most bothersome questions. Many will save the skip for so long they never actually use it.

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