Hand Raising

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TeacherApr, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Is a "no no" at our school. I understand the need for students to all be involved and working together to come up with answers. I understand how teachers can tend to only call on those with their hands raised, which in turn, can be the same students over and over again. I get that other students can slip through the cracks because they never raise their hand or get called on but....

    I feel that the no had raising is possibly leading to the issues we are all having which are shouting out answers out of turn.

    Thoughts? Opinions?
    How do you teach the WBT rule about hand raising when the students "aren't supposed to raise their hands"?
     
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  3. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I don't know about the WBT philosophy, but several years ago I started writing kids' names on popsicle sticks and pulling them to make sure I would call on all the kids and not leave the ones out who didn't raise their hands.
     
  4. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    WOW. Why can't teachers be trusted to use their own common sense and discretion of how they want their class to function at a particular time?

    The way I present changes up and no one way works all the time for me. There are times when the flow is formal, and anyone who needs to speak must raise their hands because I'm introducing/modeling/explaining a concept etc.

    Then there are times where we go into informal discussion mode, like a college class, and students speak to their neighbors about the topic, because it's an informal/round table type discussion and as long as they remain respectful and on topic, I step back and listen, and then the discussion flows naturally. (That's still different from when they share their personal stories, that's formal and they must raise their hands for that.)

    That's how my students got excited about topics and that's how I discovered their passions by sitting back and listening to them at times. They weren't loud, but the P walked in and heard them "speaking out of turn" and she ripped me one in front of them without knowing or caring what my teaching style was, which I will never change it.

    I will just explain myself in the future, I didn't explain myself to her--I was just too mentally exhausted and didn't want any issues, but I'm sure she started assuming I had no classroom management from that point on.

    I don't know much about WBT but I went to their site and saw what I was doing is similar to what they had on their site on one of their videos with the little girl teaching and saying 'class teach' or something like that.
     
  5. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Thanks but I wasn't really looking for other options besides hand raising. I know those options, I just don't like using them all the time....
     
  6. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Sep 27, 2010

    Then what exactly are you looking for?
     
  7. kitekrazy

    kitekrazy Rookie

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    Seems like one of those concepts that makes teaching difficult, less spontaneous. Just more over analytic stuff that trick teachers, administrators and politicians into thinking the cure all for education.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sep 27, 2010

    Almost 20 years ago, they told us to do the popsicle stick thing in my ed. methods classes.

    1. You never want to rely just on kids raising hands.
    2. It very important to have a random element when calling on students.
    3. It's also very important to target certain students. At a training I went to once, they called them "leisure learners" who basically interact as minimally as possible in class.
    4. In regards to #3 sometimes I specifically call on only students who do not raise their hands. Or I pick the kids who I really need to draw out and force to participate. Or I specifically come up with a challenging question for the kid that seems to already know everything. Sometimes I use special magic popsicle sticks that always display the name of the kid I want to call on.
     
  9. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sep 27, 2010

    The raised hand is just a signal that the student would like to speak. You mean students are not allowed to raise their hands ever? How do they ask permission to sharpen a pencil or go to the bathroom?

    The rule should not be "raise your hand before you speak." As we all know, a kid can just as easily talk out of turn by raising their hand and interrupting a lesson.

    The correct rule is "do not speak until the teacher calls on you." You can enforce that rule whether or not kids raise their hands. The raised hand is just the signal that you wish for the teacher to call on you.
     
  10. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Thoughts? Opinions?
    How do you teach the WBT rule about hand raising when the students "aren't supposed to raise their hands"?

    See these are my thoughts as well. Finding out more info as to why this attitude has taken full force in my school is based on engagement....? What's being said is when you call on the student raising their hand, the other students are no longer engaged, however on the flip side, when you pull on a popsicle stick the same thing can happen lol

    I just don't know how to explain this to my colleagues or even if I should?
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Here's how the popsicle concept works.

    You ask a question. You give think time. Then you call on a student from your popsicle sticks or other random selection method.

    The idea is that every student is engaged because after you ask the question, they do not know if they will be called upon, so they have to think about the answer.

    So basically, what you have is one student who has given you the answer but 29 others who have thought about the answer.
     
  12. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Sep 28, 2010

    We do a lot of partner talking. I actually get up out of my seat and crouch down and listen in on conversations. I mostly am making sure my low or lazy kids are talking and understanding.

    i also give a lot of think time. "When you have an answer, give me a sneaky thumb." I then wait until I see all thumbs. Sometimes I'll ask a child to share their thinking. Sometimes I say share your thinking with your partner. Sometimes I pick a stick for someone to share their thinking.
     
  13. FourSquare

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    Both of these last two posts are good. We do this in my room and also sometimes follow up with another kid after an answer is given to repeat the answer. My kids pay attention because they know they can be called after an answer is given. We also teach them to track the speaker with their eyes, so you'll know quickly who's not engaged.
     
  14. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Sep 28, 2010

    TeacherApr,

    I have a question. Is this "no raising hands" thing an edict from your school admin? Are they coming in rooms and if kids are raising their hands for any reason, seeing that as an indication that the teacher is not engaging students?

    First, I wouldn't be surprised if it were. In my district, all admins are pushing direct instruction and that's part of it. But they just want to see the teachers using the popsicle sticks.

    The thing is that student's raising hands is an integral part of classroom management and an important academic skill and behavior standard that is universal throughout all levels of education.

    Moreover, there are many types of questions and discussions where students must raise their hands. For example, our reading program has a story about trains. In the teacher's guide, it says "ask students to tell about a time they took the train." If I have one student in my class who has ever taken a train in his or her life, and I don't know who that kid is, am I going to pull popsicle sticks, asking each kid if he or she has ever taken a train? Of course not, that would be idiotic.

    Instead, I'm going to say "raise your hand if you have ever taken a train."
     
  15. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    It comes from our P. You are so right in your example! How am I supposed to find the students that have certain experiences unless I have them raise their hands? Yes, if they come into my room to observe and they see hand raising I get marked down for disengagement. However, I am a good talker/explainer/defender heh so I think by using your example and the need for this so the kids know NOT to shout out I believe I can do some convincing.
     
  16. gottagoodgig

    gottagoodgig Companion

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    If you want to know something about your kids, have them answer by putting their finger on their nose, hands on shoulders, etc. Honestly, it seems a bit odd to me.....a no raising hand policy. You are a professional and should be able to decide this for yourself. Perhaps you should tell your principal that he/she has a "no handshake" policy. Hugs are more engaging. From now on, only hugs will be allowed when greeting others. It'll be an interesting visit when your superintendent comes! LOL!!
     
  17. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    ha ha LOVE IT! And yes, I feel the same way!!!
     
  18. SunnyReader

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    The popsicle method is not a great method to use with special ed students. They tend to worry about if their name is called and never listen to the question. They also need more processing time between answering.

    What I do is tap a students desk if their question is next- so they can think about the answer ahead of time.

    IMO- The popsicle method is out-dated. I know it works for some but in a special ed setting it is not highly recommended.
     
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I have an iPod app that does the same thing.
     
  20. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Oct 5, 2010

    Sarge, you are correct in stating that the "no hand raising" idea is part of direct instruction. I know that when our district moved toward this type of instruction, our teachers fought and struggled with this concept.
    Direct instruction is more about paired sharing, partner reading and talking, and the teacher modeling the skills and strategies. It takes a total change of thinking, and a total change in one's beliefs in teaching. As crazy as it sounds, I am so grateful I have a job, that when they told me that this is how I have to teach, I just did it. I am still learning, and I am hopeful that it will work with our kids!
     
  21. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Oct 6, 2010

    The twilight zone of education continues. If the children just call out answers what happens if the same three or four students keep calling out answers. How is this more democratic then raising your hand and waiting to be called on. There is no law that I know of that keeps the teacher from calling on children who don't raise their hand.
     

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