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Choose 'Em
Or Lose 'Em


Try these strategies to keep all eyes on you -- almost all the time.

Cooperate Learning Strategies

For information on choosing students for cooperative groups, see the Education World article Let's Cooperate!-- Teachers Share Tips for Cooperative Learning.

Do you have a tip to share about grouping students? Send it to [email protected].

He's a Card
Index cards ensure random selection.

Early in the school year, ask each student to write on an index card his or her name, home address, phone number, languages spoken, interests, and so on. On the back of the card, write the student's assigned seat number (if applicable). Use the cards throughout the year to call on students randomly. If a student doesn't know an answer, turn his or her card over in the pile and be sure to get back to them.

Pause to increase student participation.

When directing a question to the entire class, wait ten seconds between asking the question and calling on a student. The delay will give students who are slower to respond time to formulate an answer.

Random Acts
Students choose community service tasks.

Instead of assigning weekly classroom helpers, keep a container on your desk filled with slips of paper listing classroom tasks, acts of kindness, and other activities that contribute to the classroom community. (For example, students might be asked to erase chalkboards, straighten the science center, or compliment a fellow student.) As they enter the classroom each morning, have students pull a slip of paper from the container and follow the directions on it.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2004 Education World