Ideas... How to Make EACH Student Participate

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by soon2bteacher, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. soon2bteacher

    soon2bteacher Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2009

    Hi everyone, I am looking for some good ideas regarding how to get EVERY student to participate in discussion. I certainly don't want to put students on the spot and make them feel uncomfortable, as my classroom is a safe environment. However, it is important that everyone pitch in... a little "stress" on the brain can be a good thing, if they know they are expected to participate. Anyone have any good ideas on how to make everyone pitch in each class period? I'm trying to find an effective "system" in which each student is required to speak at least once. What do you all do? THANKS!
     
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  3. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    Feb 8, 2009

    I struggle with this as well. I have a self contained 8th grade classroom. I have 24 students and can only seem to get the same 5 - 6 students to talk. I look forward to any advice any one gives.
     
  4. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Feb 9, 2009

    I find think/pair/share works.

    A discussion question is posed. Individual students create answers. The student then shares his/her answer with a neighbor. Then 1 of the pair shares their answers.

    The next question, the other student in the pair has to share.
     
  5. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Feb 9, 2009

    I make it part of their class grade. Class participation counts as 1 test grade, which counts twice.
     
  6. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    Feb 9, 2009

    I bought a self-inking stamp and some little stickers (yes, for middle school). Each student received either a stamp or a sticker on their exit pass when they contributed to the class discussion. Students had to turn in their exit pass (usually a quick question for students to answer about the lesson) with the stamp or sticker on it. It also made it easy for me to look over the class and tell who had participated or not, and it did not require extra record keeping on my part.
     
  7. Mrs. Toby

    Mrs. Toby Rookie

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    Feb 9, 2009

    Have you heard of Kagan? They teach classes and offer products for purchase that are all about engagement. I'm taking my first Kagan class this year, Cooperative Learning which is a 4 day course. I'm learning a ton about getting kids to take an active role in the learning process without putting them on the spot and embarassing any of them.
    Check it out!
    www.kaganonline.com
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 9, 2009

    I find that it works to give students a heads up about what's coming. For example, I'll let them know that in 2 minutes I'll be calling students up to the board to label our sentences (this is something we do every day in class). They should take a few minutes, turn to the person sitting next to them, and compare/discuss their labels. After that happens, then I'll call them up.

    My students seem to like this way because they have a chance to run their answers by at least one other person in the class before they're called out to put their work on the board for all to see.

    I have them write on the board in groups on 3 or 4. It gets a little crowded, but they don't seem to worry that the whole class is staring at them.

    I also try to remain vigilant while they're writing on the board and I do my best to notify them right away when they've missed something or made a mistake. I let them know quietly and gently so that they can fix it without anyone except for me realizing the mistake.

    It seems to work out.
     
  9. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 11, 2009

    I second the Kagan idea. To me the key of using cooperative learning is that I may not get 100% participation but I will get closer than I do without it. I would encourage small group discussions to get everyone participating.

    I do things like give kids paraphrase chips. Ask them a question. They answer it individually on paper. They share with their partner. Their partner paraphrases it back. Then I call on students to share their partner's idea. They get the idea that they are responsible for what they have discussed. Pretty soon having groups of 4 discuss and then share their findings is quite managable.
     
  10. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Feb 12, 2009

    I haven't got the cooperative learning thing down completely yet, but I do have the Kagan books for Geometry and Algebra and use them a lot.
     
  11. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 13, 2009

    Hi RaneyDae,

    Do you have the general cooperative learning book from Kagan? IMO the subject books are great, but to really be able to get one's head around the structures, one needs to either have attended a PD session or to have the opportunity to read the basic cooperative learning book so that the broader structures make sense.
     
  12. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Feb 13, 2009

    Kagan Smartcards (i think that's their name) are awesome. I bought a big set of them. They cover many many areas including student participation.
     

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